LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge
BOWLING GREEN - The wait is just about over for Bowling Green residents.
After nearly 14 months, the Wood County District Public Library on North Main Street will reopen to the public tomorrow, showcasing its additional 14,000 square feet and an all new, indoor reading atrium.
“I love it. We're thrilled with the result,” library director Elaine Paulette said yesterday.
She expects others will be too, given the amount of interest she's seen lately in the new building.
Library patrons have been seen checking out the progress when dropping off loaned materials. Others have stopped simply because they're curious about the project.
“We've seen people wandering around, peering in the windows,” Ms. Paulette said.
The library has been closed since April 15, 2002, for a $5.7 million renovation and expansion, which included replacing the building's flat roof with a pitched roof, adding parking, and making elevators and restrooms handicapped-accessible. Another noticeable change is the addition of an indoor reading lounge, which was an outdoor courtyard.
The project was partially funded by a 25-year, 0.32-mill bond issue approved by Wood County voters.
Two weeks after the closing last spring, the library was moved into its temporary site in the vacant Churchill's store on South Main Street. Tomorrow, a parade will form at the old Churchill's store at noon and make its way north to the new library.
The official ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the renovated structure, with library hours lasting tomorrow until 5 p.m. It will be open with regular hours Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
Yesterday, library officials and work crews put last-minute touches on the building, from a contractor who was applying a bit of yellow paint on the walls to staff members who met together for most of the morning. At one point, they even gathered outside for a new-building fire drill.
The library opening is especially welcomed by Sue Neuseld, principal and director of the Plan, Do, and Talk pre-school and primary school on East Oak Street, less than a block from the downtown library.
Ms. Neuseld said she and her employees enjoyed walking with students each week to the nearby library. But she said they typically had to pile in a van to get to the temporary location.
“We miss the library,” she said yesterday. “We're just all excited. We use our resources.”