Library addition nears completion

Staff writer

The addition to Marion City Library is swiftly approaching completion.

“We have a name picked for the new room that we chose from a suggestion given by one of our patrons,” library director Janet Marler said.

Both the name for the room and the identity of the patron are to remain secret until its grand opening, she said.

Many of the building materials are onsite but have yet to find their home. An electric stove, refrigerator, wall cabinets, and a stack of tiles and carpet along with other various supplies await installation under a fine layer of sawdust.

Wiring is complete except for some floor outlets, and lighting is functional. Interior walls are sheetrocked and have been painted a neutral color best described as beige or antique white.

According to Marler and general contractor Dave Hett, project completion is tentatively set for February, with no particular date set as of Monday.

“We still need to pour the sidewalk from the circle out front to the door,” Hett said. “Inside, we need to set the cabinets, get flooring in, and do the toilets.”

Carpenter Gerald Wiens is in charge of installing cabinets and other woodwork; personnel from Flaming’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Inc. will handle the toilets and other appliances; while County Seat Decorating Center will install carpet in the main room and tile in the kitchen and bathrooms, Hett said.

“I’m going to keep pushing these guys to get done by February,” Hett said.

EBH engineer Darin Neufeld said he thought some exterior trim needed to be finished up too.

“A few lights also need to be hung off posts outside,” Neufeld said, “and when they put in the sidewalk they are planning to move one bench out of the way.”

The addition has increased the library’s footprint by 1,200 square feet, 900 feet of which will be usable space, Neufeld said.

Upon completion, the addition will primarily be used to as an extension of normal library services, Marler said, but since a fully functional kitchen and bathroom are part of the project, there is a strong possibility it will also be available to rent for events unrelated to library functions.

However, library events such as the Kansas Humanities speakers, library luncheons, and youth-oriented summer events will take precedence.

“A minimal amount of interior design was planned,” Marler said. “One wall will be left entirely empty so we can project our movies for children onto it.”

The addition also is wired for technology and will have wifi access like the rest of the library.

“Our role has changed as an (internet) access place in the community,” Marler said. “People will be able to use their laptops and iPads here.”

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