By CARL E. FEATHER - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brighter, more spacious and inviting. Those are some of the comments that Henderson Memorial Public Library patrons are using to describe the interior remodeling project that will be dedicated Monday.
Ed Worso, library director, said the total bill for the work will come in around the $250,000 mark. The renovation was funded with a bequest from John Buza, a former Jefferson resident who gifted the money to the library from his estate.
Improvements include a new family restroom, carpet/laminate flooring and fresh paint.
“It’s very open now,” Worso said. “We changed the floor plan enough to open it up and you can see from end to end.”
Windows previously blocked by the stacks of books are now visible and contribute to the open feel.
The centerpiece of this work is the new computer area, where 13 new public computers provide access to the Internet. “And we still have the 15 brand-new laptops that we use for our computer classes,” Worso said. Those computers are from a Connect Ohio grant.
Smolen Engineering was architect for the project and Jim Martin Construction of Painesville was the contractor.
The 40-year-old building will be rededicated at 1 p.m. on Monday. Worso said village, school district and county officials have been invited to the ribbon cutting, which will be followed by a reception with home-baked cookies.
The library has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this week with a contest for a number of prizes, including a Kindle Fire HD. Every patron who checked out materials during the week received a ticket for the drawing. Worso said the drawing will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, and, yes, the library is still accepting new patrons.
Worso said the renovation project did not exhaust the Buza gift. The board plans to use some of that money to join Clevenet, a consortium of 38 library systems in 11 Ohio counties. Membership will give Jefferson patrons access to 10 million books, CDs and DVDs through the borrowing network. Membership should be ready by early 2013.
Worso said there will undoubtedly be more projects down the road, but for now “we’re going to enjoy these (new renovations) for a while,” he said.