The library will soon undertake a renovation and small addition project that's designed to add more space and to fix long-standing issues with the facility.
The project will cost about $1.4 million, said Library Director Susan White. Mrs. White added that the state will fund the majority of the project and local impact fees and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue will make up the local share.
The project includes adding new carpet, walls, a training lab available for staff and public use, a quiet room for patrons, a story time room for the youth and a teen center for the older children who frequent the library.
The addition will hold adult books and add more storage at the library, Mrs. White said.
Mrs. White said the renovations have "been in the plans for years." She noted the library is almost 20 years old and has some "bad spots," including leaks, stained carpets and ceiling tiles and is running short on office space.
The library officially opened bidding for the project Monday and the Cherokee County Library Board will meet at 4 p.m. today to consider the proposals.
If the board accepts a bid, Mrs. White said she expects construction to begin on April 26. The project is set to be completed by Nov. 1.
The construction will be done in three phases. The first phase will tackle the left side of the building, including the circulation, reference section and staff offices. Staff will operate out of the meeting room at the library.
The next phase will affect the children and youth section and the adult section on the right side of the building. The children and youth department will be moved to the meeting room and the adult section will be moved to the left side of the building.
The last phase will renovate the meeting room.
With the additional space, the library will remove the rows of computers and allow patrons to check out laptops for use anywhere in the building instead.
The library will keep four desktop computers and have 50 laptops for public use. The laptop purchase is included in the construction cost, Mrs. White said.
The library will remain open during the renovations, Mrs. White said.
"There will be a lot of noise going on," she said. "It will be very, very inconvenient, but we will remain open as much as possible."
Mrs. White said the renovation will affect some programming. There will be no summer kids programming held at the library, she said. Children will still be able to check out books, but will have to attend programming at either the Woodstock, Hickory Flat, Ball Ground and Rose Creek libraries.
Hannah Wilson of Canton, who visits the library every day, said she is excited to hear the renovation project moving closer towards becoming a reality.
Waleska resident Karin Abernathy said she welcomes the renovation. She said she was glad to hear there will be a story room and a teen room for the younger patrons.
"That would be good," she said. "With more space, more kids can come."