LaGrange Memorial Library makes progress on revamp

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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In case you missed it, the LaGrange Memorial Library is in the process of getting a new look.

Keith Schuermann, regional director of the Troup-Harris Library System, said the project began in August 2021 and has experienced delays due to shortages in construction supplies and inflation costs of building materials.

The initial construction supply shortages came from a bar joist shortage in 2021 that forced a redesign of ceiling plans, followed by a shortage of roofing materials in early 2022 that forced a delay in the construction.

“When we went to bid for construction, our lowest bid was $1 million over the maximum stated price, and the highest was $2.4 million over that maximum,” Schuermann said. “What was originally a $6.8 million project pre-COVID has grown with inflation to $8.1 million.”

To help combat the rising inflation costs of completing the project, the library has fundraised over $200,000.

“We have enough on hand to finish the construction piece but are looking at a $600,000 shortfall in developing our project budget,” Schuermann said. “We will need these funds sooner rather than later, as most of it will be needed to purchase furniture and equipment by a state contract. Those state contract items will see an increase at the end of January 2023.”

Schuermann said having $600,000 on hand by the end of this year will be critical for the library to avoid further inflation-induced cost overruns.

However, Schuermann said he anticipates a substantial part of the library’s construction will be completed by the end of 2022, with a proposed opening in Spring 2023. 

“We will need time to install furniture, fixtures, and other equipment early in 2023 and will require additional time for moving in and setting up for services,” Schuermann said

Schuermann said the Troup-Harris Library System is excited to open the new facility.

“We started planning this project in late 2018, and we are ready to present to LaGrange and Troup County what will be a real gem in our community,” Schuermann said.