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by Rich Hewitt
Officials at the Brooksville Free Public Library hope to begin construction on the planned addition to the facility and are seeking the necessary funding to cover the cost of the project.
The detailed drawings for the addition should be completed by mid-November, according to Harry Madson, president of the library board. That, he said, is the easy part. Raising additional funds is a little more difficult.
So far, the library has raised about $145,000 and needs a total of about $235,000 for the project.
“It’s more difficult to get the next $95,000,” Madson said. “We think we can do it.”
The library is housed in the Brooksville Town House, where it moved in 1994. The town owns the building so the library can’t seek a traditional loan for the addition construction funding, Madson said.
“We need to rely on the community and grants,” he said. “We’re working on that now.”
The library has submitted three grant proposals, Madson said, and had expected to hear back on two of them by this time. But they’re still waiting and are considering other potential grant sources. The funds on hand include a $25,000 contribution approved by voters at the annual town meeting last spring. Selectman John Gray said recently that the selectmen may ask voters if they want to make another contribution to the project at the town meeting next spring.
Plans for the addition call for the library to be expanded to cover the existing deck that sits atop a portion of the fire station. That will add about 1,000 square feet of much needed space for the library, Madson said.
The addition will provide additional space for:
• The after-school reading program, which now includes 19 kids and 19 adults who need more room where they can meet for one-on-one reading sessions.
• A proper librarian’s office and a work area that includes space for maintenance and repair of books.
• More space to expand Internet capacity that will allow library patrons to review library holdings and check out books online, and to accommodate increased computer use in the library, which is up about 250 percent.
“All of that adds to our ability to meet the needs of the community,” Madson said.
By extending the roof line of the existing library over the deck, the project also will resolve problems with leaks from the deck into the fire station. Initially, there was some discussion about realigning the roof line in order to accommodate solar power equipment, but that would have added about $25,000 to the cost of the project.