A major milestone in the Aiken County Library renovation occurred in November when the Aiken County Council approved a $2,200,000 contract for J.E. Stewart Builders of Aiken to renovate the main library and install a new front access elevator. Construction should begin in early December. This is part of a nearly $3,000,000 partnership between Aiken County and the Friends of the Aiken County Library. The project is funded by County CPST funds and up to $1,000,000 from the Friends.
Library staff are excited about the modernization of the library and recently have been very busy making preparations for the first phase of the project. During phase one of the project, all library services will be provided on the first floor of the library. Selections of Adult fiction, non-fiction, large print, and reference have been moved to the first floor. Books left on the second floor will be available through the normal holds process. Reference staff and public computers will be relocated to the youth area on the library’s first floor.
Bill Reynolds, President of the Friends said, “Aiken County has been a wonderful project partner. Without their support this would never have happened. We are pleased J. E. Stewart of Aiken was the low bidder. Stewart built the beautiful front steps. As the renovation unfolds, the library patrons will see the incredibly creative work done by the project architects, McMillan-Pazdan-Smith.”
When the renovation is complete, the first floor will be mostly devoted to children-related activities and will include the Security Federal Reception Area, the Grandparents Gallery sponsored by Pam and Rob Johnston, as well as the Davis Family Program Room.
The second floor will offer quieter activities including the Barbara and Tommy Wessinger Reading Area, a new conference room, as well as five study rooms.