UNION COUNTY — The Union County Carnegie Library wants to update the people of Union County about the planned $2.2 million renovation of the library and hear from the public about how well it is meeting the needs of the community.
Library Director Rieta Drinkwine announced this week that the library will be hosting a public town hall meeting in the USC Union Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday.
“This meeting is open to anyone and will be a discussion of the upcoming library renovation and an opportunity for the community to provide feedback for us to make sure we are addressing community needs,” Drinkwine said.
In November, City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson announced that two Community Development Block Grants had been awarded for local projects through the State of South Carolina’s Community Enrichment Program. Thompson said one grant was for $304,346 and will be used to help fund the Union County Carnegie Library ADA Project. He said the city applied for the grants in early 2015 after learning of their availability.
In his summary of the grant awards provided to Union City Council at Thompson’s request, Robert Moody, Senior Planner for the Catwaba Regional Council of Governments, provides the following description of the ADA project:
“There are plans to renovate the Union County Carnegie Library, to include renovations on the lower and ground levels to allow space for expanding programs. The CDBG project will consist of the construction of items to make the library accessible to disabled persons. Construction activities will include accessible parking; an accessible entrance; accessible bathrooms; accessible doorways, where needed; a fire alarm system with audible and visual warnings; accessible stations for computers and an elevator to the lower level, where public group sessions, meetings and other services will be provided.”
Moody added that the beneficiaries of these renovations will be “5,407 disabled persons ages 18 and over who are residents of Union County. All 5,407 (100%) are considered low and moderate income.”
In addition to the CDBG funding, the State of South Carolina has also allocated $1.25 million in lottery funds for the renovations.
Drinkwine said that another $150,000 has been raised through private donations and fundraisers and that the library is continuing to work to raise the balance of the required funding for the project. She pointed out that the ADA grant requires the construction be completed by November 2017 and that the library is finalizing plans for the renovations with the goal of completing the project by the required date.
Thursday’s meeting will also be an opportunity for the public to let the library know about well it is meeting the needs of Union County.
“We want make sure this library serves the community,” Drinkwine said.
In 2015, that service included:
• 27,384 items checked out
• 15,636 computer uses
• 13,749 library card holders
• 718 new library cards issued
• 48,410 visitors
For more information on the town hall, the Union County Carnegie Library and the services it provides, call 864-427-7140.
This is an artist’s rendering of the Union County Carnegie Library ADA Project. A $304,346 Community Development Block Grant has been awarded to help fund the project which will involve making the library accessible to disabled persons. The ADA Project is part of a planned $2.2 million renovation of the library. The library will host a town hall Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the USC Union Auditorium to brief the public on the progress of the project and to receive feedback on how well the library is serving the community.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or [email protected]