UNION COUNTY — There’s a song that says you’ve got to have friends and the Union County Carnegie Library has no better friends than the Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library (FOL) which recently presented it with a check for $14,300.
In a statement released Thursday, FOL President Rebecca Rochester announced that she and other FOL members had presented Library Director Rieta Drinkwine with the check during a ceremony on the steps of the newly restored front entrance of the library.
Rochester said the check “ represents the funds raised in the FOL’s engraved brick sale and go-fund-me page to help with the $1.8 million renovation of the Carnegie which is now nearly completed.” She said the $14,300 includes “$10,000 raised from the engraved brick sale and $4,300 raised from go-fund-me” and that “I want to thank all those who purchased bricks and/or donated on go-fund-me.”
The bricks, which bears the names and/or other messages of those who purchased them, will be placed along the curved walkway to the library. In addition to those already purchased, Rochester said there will be another opportunity for the public to purchase bricks and support in the library.
“The bricks have been ordered,” Rochester said. “We hope they will be in place by the grand re-opening on Saturday, September 8. The inscribed bricks will be placed along the walk beginning at the front entrance to the Carnegie.
“Another brick sale is planned for the winter,” she said. “Additional bricks will be paced along the curved walkway as they are purchased.”
Rochester said the members of the FOL are looking forward to the reopening of the library and the changes, upgrades, improvements, and restorations that have been made.
“We are all very excited about the restored original portion of the Carnegie and the renovated and expanded portion,” Rochester said. “That portion was built with funds raised by the Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library in 1986. The Friends continue to support the library with membership dues, fund raisers like the tea, and profits from their resale bookstore, Friends on Main.
“We are especially excited about the new children’s area downstairs via a slide,” she said. “There is a new stairway and an elevator for those who do not want to slide. The Friends are happy to have helped with the funding of this wonderful and much needed addition and restoration.”
Located at 318 East South Street, Union, the Union County Carnegie Library has been closed since Nov. 30, 2017 when a groundbreaking ceremony kicked off the long-planned and long-anticipated $2.1 million renovation, restoration, modernization, and upgrade of its facilities. As originally planned, the project included the following improvements:
• Restoration of the original, historic section of the library.
• Bringing the facility into compliance with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
• The creation of more space for children and teens including the development of an early learning center in partnership with Union County First Steps.
• The addition of a non-profit partnership center.
• The addition of space for meetings and workshops.
The project is being funded with $1.6 million raised by the library including a $1.25 million allocation from the State Lottery Fund secured for it by the Union County Legislative Delegation; $25,000 allocated by the City of Union; a $70,000 grant from the Timken Foundation; and donations from local businesses, individuals, and organizations including $850 from the Union Rotary Club, $4,000 from the Union Community Foundation’; and now, $14,300 raised by the FOL.
The Union County Carnegie Library will reopen on Saturday, Sept. 8 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina, will be the keynote speaker.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.