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Vidalia Library to Redo Roof

While working on the renovation of the Vidalia branch of the Ohoopee Regional Library System, contractors have discovered the structure will need to receive a new roof.

According to Ohoopee Regional Library System Director Cameron Asbell, as work has continued on the building, it has become obvious that the current roof consists of “two roofs from two different eras.” Asbell said that adding a third roof from yet another era would truly complicate the structure. “The original roof was built in 1967, and the second roof came in 1992,” Asbell explained. “These roofs have been repaired over the years, just as the membrane was a few years ago. Yet, the slope needed for drainage was not a building consideration when the structure was originally constructed. With all the money that was being used to renovate this building, not making sure the roof was up-to-date seemed irresponsible, so we wanted to make sure we did things right from the beginning.”

She said that this need for a new roof brought concern for the budget and funding for the project, but local fundraising solved the issue. “The roof work did create a need for more local fundraising, and we are blessed to live in a community where people come together and give so generously to projects, such as this one,” Asbell commented.

This additional work to the original renovation plan did create a slight delay in the anticipated completion date of the library, but once it is complete, there will be a foam buildup on the surface of the roof that creates a pitch toward the drainage area, so the roof will not have any standing water. The roof work will be done this month, which will up speed improvements inside the structure because drywall and interior surface remodeling can then begin.

Other Updates

Asbell also praised General Contractor Carroll Williams from Harry Moses Construction for his planning strategy that has saved the project from facing delays from lack of supplies. “[Williams] was very wise and ordered steel and many of the other hard-to-get materials during the late fall of last year, so the timeline on the project has been mostly uninterrupted,” she remarked. The anticipated completion date for the library reconstruction is the end of 2022, which means the library resources will begin to move back into the location at the beginning of 2023. “The original timeline was that we would not begin the renovation until 2024 and would reopen in 2025; but, due to the overwhelming local support for the project, the renovation was moved up a couple of years, which means Toombs County will have a newly-renovated library two years ahead of schedule,” Asbell said.

Updates on the project are posted on the Ohoopee Regional Library System Facebook page, and information about the whole renovation process is available on the library’s website. Asbell also said that the nonprofit Friends of the Library members are enthusiastic to speak with citizens on the project. “People are asking a lot of questions about the renovation, and we are always happy to talk about it and share,” she emphasized.

She continued, “Our Friends of the Library organization helps support our mission [of providing the community with resources through the library]. The group is always looking for new members, and anyone is welcome to get involved and be a part of the library family.” The Friends of the Library meet monthly on the third Monday of each month at noon at the Ladson Library, which is currently housed in the Nelle Brown Memorial Library in Lyons. The public is welcome to attend meetings to learn more about upcoming library projects.

Summer Activities

Although the Vidalia location of the library is currently closed for renovation, the Nelle Brown Memorial Library in Lyons is open to the public for 36 hours per week for the normal story time, Legos, book clubs, and summer reading programs. During this time of renovation, this temporary library location, although in a smaller space, is offering the same services and programs as the Vidalia location. All of the Summer Reading performers will make presentations in the Toombs Auditorium of Southeastern Technical College in Vidalia, and the kids’ painting programs are being held at the Birthday House at Partin Park in Lyons. “We have already seen a record number of families sign up for Summer Reading and programs this summer, and we are determined to keep up the programming despite the renovation and move,” Asbell concluded.

The Ladson Genealogical Library is also being housed in this location and has expanded its hours for the duration of the renovation. Daily information on hours and programs can be found on the library website.

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