Over the next few months, the Fort Scott Public Library will take on a different appearance as it goes through numerous interior renovations before opening again in February.
After saving federal funding since about 1992 as well as accepting a $100,000 gift from Cliff Gordon’s estate after his death, the local library decided the time was right for major renovations on their building after having gone about 50 years without such improvements, according to director Lisa Walther.
“It’s been much needed for a long time,” Walther said.
The total bid for the project is about $572,000, plus an approximate $10,000 for asbestos abatement. That price will include removing the carpet and redoing the floors, ceiling and walls as well as adding other improvements such as new light fixtures and the addition of a second restroom.
“We’re changing pretty much everything,” Walther said, saying all the books will be moved upstairs while the offices, computers and an adult meeting area will be available downstairs.
Since the project began on September 6, the library has changed its location temporarily to the lower level of Memorial Hall. Walther said about 10 percent of their current circulation is available there while the remainder is in storage at Landmark Bank.
While their space is limited, Walther said they have made available their newest books as well as those that are most popular. The library also continues to offer its storytime for young children not in school each Tuesday at 10 a.m., and computers are still available for the public’s use.
“I think it’s going to be very nice when it’s done,” Walther said of the library project, adding their appreciation to Landmark and the city of Fort Scott for providing assistance while they are away from their building.
The project is scheduled to be complete by February 3, with the addition of a few weeks to move the books back into the library before opening once again.