Andrews library expansion and renovation project gets underway

Tom Kimmel carefully excavates a portion of land beside the Andrews-Dallas Township Public Library on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The expansion and renovation project for the library has started and is slated to be completed in March. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Right next door to the Andrews-Dallas Township Public Library, there is a large hole in the ground.

And everybody is excited about it.

The library broke ground on Wednesday, Sept. 11, marking the start of a long-awaited expansion and renovation project.

"It's exciting to see that a dream is going to happen," says Nancy Disbro, library director. "This is going to help us serve the community a lot better."

She says the dream started in 2010 with the initial design.

"We received a $2,500 planning grant from Indiana Landmarks in November 2009," Disbro says. "After the design and putting together a preliminary budget, we started seeking funding for the project."

The budgeted cost was $530,000, a figure that Disbro says was all but raised prior to starting the project.

"We had all but $15,000 of that money," she notes. "But in order to keep our grant, the project had to move forward so we borrowed the shortfall."

She adds, however, that already the library has received another $5,000 grant as well as other funding from various sources.

"We should have the loan paid off by the end of the project, which is March 2014," Disbro says.

Major funding was received from the USDA Office of Rural Development, Huntington County Town of Andrews and Huntington County H.E.L.P.

The addition will allow for a new entrance to the library, a lift (a more cost-effective version of an elevator) to the lower level, new restrooms, new ramp and street level access to the meeting room.

"This has been something that a lot of people have wanted and it's exciting to see that the project has started," notes Disbro.

The Andrews-Dallas Township Public Library is located at 30 E. Madison St., Andrews.