January 10, 2013
Construction crews are entering the final stages of our addition project, with drywall crews working inside and carpenters putting up siding this week.
The interior of the library is scheduled to be finished in mid-February. That means that by the first week of February we will be calling "all hands on deck" and recruiting as many volunteers as possible to help us move the existing furniture and library collection.
We will need plenty of helpers for different kinds of work, from shelving individual books to moving larger pieces of furniture and shelving. If you are willing to volunteer your time, please call Teresa at 715-476-2366 and she will keep you updated on the schedule.
Read on to see more pictures and learn more about the library expansion in progress!
The Mercer Library expansion is composed of 2 main sections: a side addition that will contain a children's room, a meeting room/classroom, and office space, and a back addition that will extend the length of the building and give us room to grow our collections and add seating areas for library users. The project will also add an after-hours entrance to the Reading Room.
We will add about 2600 square feet of space, almost doubling the size of our library. The total budget for construction and furnishings is about $422,000. The project is financed by a Community Development Block Grant, private fundraising, a large contribution from the Friends of the Mercer Public Library, and a contribution from the Town of Mercer.
Although we have raised enough funds to complete the construction, we are still asking for donations from library supporters to help purchase the shelving, furniture and equipment we will need to make the most of our new space. If you are interested in contributing, donate online or call Teresa at (715)476-2366 to find out more.
Front of the newly expanded Mercer Public Library, showing the new entrance to the Reading Room. This entrance won't replace our main door, but will allow groups and organizations to reserve and get access to the Reading Room for after-hours use.
Crews install siding on the new Reading Room entrance, January 10, 2013.
The expansion on the side of the library is about 18' by 36', and will contain a children's room, meeting room/classroom, and office space.
A view through the trees of the side expansion.
A view taken from Library Street behind the library, showing the back addition and the side addition in the distance.
The addition to the back of the library is about 36' by 48', and will give us a lot more space for shelving, seating for library users, and storage. Here you see the window from the back of our library relocated to the new end of the building. This window lets in a lot of natural light, and has always been one of our favorite features of the library.
The new children's room will feature a bay window with window seat, and the back addition contains a bay window relocated from the old library. This area in between might make a lovely reading garden someday!
Looking from the front desk towards the back addition. For the next 6 weeks or so our collection will be moving around and housed on temporary shelving to accommodate the work going on, but we plan to keep the library open as much as possible.
The side addition will contain glass doors and windows looking into the new classroom/meeting room, and a children's room further back from the front desk.
A view looking into the new meeting room/classroom space. The large window echoes the shape of the window at the back of the library and lets in plenty of natural light. This room will feature cabinets to store items like our paper cutter, AccuCut machine, laminator, and other library equipment that the public is welcome to use. It will also house several large tables that can be reconfigured to use the room as a meeting room, quiet study area, or classroom for some of our many library programs.
Standing in the meeting room looking back into the main library, you can see the windows and double door. This will keep plenty of light moving through the library!
The new children's room will feature a bay window seating area, and will give kids a place to relax on kid-sized furniture and enjoy the library.
Temporary lighting and scaffolding fill the back addition as crews continue to hang drywall. This large addition (about 36' by 48') will give us some much-needed elbow room for our library collection. Outlets in the floor and planned new seating areas and tables will give library users better places to sit and study, charge laptops, use the wifi, and enjoy their library.
The existing big window has been relocated to the new end of the building, and will give us a great location for a comfortable lounge area.
A small room in the back of the new library balances out the required mechanical room on the other side. But rather than leave this as dead storage, we decided to add a window and make it into a more livable space. This little space could be a perfect study room, or maybe a used book sale room... or maybe something we haven't thought of yet!
One of the things people have always loved about the Mercer Library is the natural light and open feeling of the place. We've tried to preserve that as much as possible with our larger library by keeping and relocating some of our large windows and continuing the cathedral ceilings.