‘High’ expectations for Brundidge Library

Published 8:12 pm Friday, August 7, 2009

What looks “mighty high” is.

Especially, since the elevation will be the ground floor of the expansion building of the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge.

Work began this week on the 3,100-square foot addition to the library and many people have been doing a double take at the height of the structure.

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“It is high. I’m about six feet, and I can walk under it,” said City Manager Britt Thomas. “But, if you’ll look at the library building and the Bass House, it’s right in line with them.”

Thomas said the addition will replicate the historic library as closely as possible.

The Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library is the only city structure listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Historic Places. Thomas said it is important for the addition to maintain the architectural integrity of the historic building.

“The addition will have the same gingerbread trim work as the library,” he said. “It will be as close as we can to the orignal building.”

There will be a covered breezeway connecting the addition to the original library building and the addition will have an entrance on Oak Street.

The interior of the addition will be more contemporary and include much of the latest technology available for libraries.

The project is estimated to cost around $300,000 and will be financed through a $150,000 state education department bond issue, which included kindergarten through higher education and libraries.

“We were very fortunate and pleased to receive those funds,” Thomas said.

Other funding has been through private donations made to the library.

“The addition to our library is a work in progress, and much of the work will be done by city employees,” Thomas said. “We have been able to utilize the skills and abilities of our city employees on other projects such as the police station, Brundidge Station and the doctor’s clinic at a substantial savings to the city. So, we feel like we’ll be able to bring this project in under $300,000.”

Thomas said utilizing city workers will allow for latitude once the work begins.

“We have flooring that was salvaged from a building that was taken down, and that flooring could be used in the addition if we decide on a hardwood floor in the meeting room,” he said.

Once completed, the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library will be able to offer expanded services to its patrons.

Jean Carroll, head librarian, said both the original structure and the addition will house books and other reading materials.

“Fiction and large print books will be housed in the original part of the library along with children’s books,” she said. “The genealogy room will also remain in that part of the library. In the new part, we’ll have the non-fiction books, computers and a meeting room.”

Carroll said the addition to the library will enable the city and the library board to provide expanded services to the people of the Brundidge area while maintaining the beauty and uniqueness of the historic library.