The Grayson County Fiscal Court received a presentation from architect Monica Sumner, of the Lexington firm Brandstetter Carroll, outlining the plans for the new Grayson County Public Library at their regular meeting on Friday, August 18.
Sumner told the group that the parking layout and the building’s footprint are settled, though the property’s boundaries and even the interior of the library can be adjusted if necessary.
The building will be located on a lot of approximately five acres across the street from the new Judicial Building, and will be in keeping with the exterior style of the Judicial Building, with complimentary architecture and brick coloring.
The court agreed with Sumner that the exterior aesthetics of the building are important because it can be seen from all sides and has the potential to add architectural beauty to the area.
The structure, which will be just under 14,000 square feet was designed to expand the services and selection offered to the community by the library, and is in keeping with the general size recommendations put forth by the state for a community with a similar population.
In addition to having an open, fluid layout with areas for adults, kids and teens, the building will boast some new convenience features such as a drive-through where patrons can drop off books or pick up books that they have reserved.
The building was designed to “improve the services to the public and to the taxpayers,” Sumner told the court.
The exterior of the project will include patio space that Sumner explained could serve as a good spot for children being picked up or dropped off, to be used for library programs and activities, or just for friendly conversation. There will be 85 parking spaces as well as designated staff parking.
The design for the building also takes into consideration that future expansions may be necessary, though Sumner explained that the current design should last for many years to come without needing to be updated or expanded.
Should future growth dictate the need for more space, though, there are floor to ceiling window openings which could be easily added onto without the need to significantly change the exterior of the building or necessitate more costly masonry work.
The library board is working with financial advisors from Hilliard Lyons to determine the best fiscal route to take with the construction.
Sumner told the group that the total construction cost for the new library would come in at just under $2.8 million. “They could afford to build more,” she said of the library board, “but they want to progress frugally.”
The group chose to stay under budget rather than to expand to their financial limits, and according to Sumner are “well within their range to afford [the building].”
In addition to the construction costs, there will also be equipment and furniture expenses and potentially staff budgeting to add to the total cost of the project once the structure itself has been completed.
The board believes that the expense will be well worth it in order to improve the services to local patrons.
The fiscal court was generally well-pleased with the projected plans, but did raise questions about whether or not the building would block access to the strip of land behind it, which could potentially be used by the county.
Sumner eased their concerns by explaining that the entrance drive to the library was designed in such a way that it could serve as a grand entrance and provide access to the space behind as well.
Judge Executive Gary Logsdon expressed his excitement about the project, saying he is “glad to see [the board] moving forward.”
Sumner said that there is currently no date set for the construction groundbreaking, but she expects the construction documetns to be completed in October of this year. Bids for the project should also be advertised before the year end.