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|03-03-03: Making room for more activities
|By MARGIE WUEBKER
The Daily Standard
MINSTER - Work is continuing on an expansion project
that will nearly double the size of the Francis J. Stallo Memorial Public Library in
The library, located in a village-owned building at the corner of
Fourth and Main streets, is literally bursting at the seams with space at a definite
"We're hoping to spread out into the other half of the building
later this year," said librarian Becky Prenger. "The expansion is something we
have needed for a long time."
The west part of the two-story brick structure had been rented by Dr.
Nicanor Atillo for nearly two decades. The family physician retired last year, freeing the
downstairs area that had included a waiting room, reception area, office space and
multiple examining rooms.
"We had known for several years about the library's desperate need
for additional space," said Village Administrator Don Harrod. "We were trying to
work with the library on a suitable solution when Dr. Atillo decided to retire late last
Village employees began gutting the interior of the former medical
office a month ago. Jim Kemper, a public works employee for the village, is supervising
the project. Employees will do most of the work with the exception of electrical wiring,
carpeting and other finishing detail.
Harrod estimates the cost of remodeling at $50,000, with Garmann/Miller
Associates, Minster, serving as architects. Village officials and representatives of the
local architectural firm met with the local library staff as well as Auglaize County
Library officials to discuss the establishment of spaces in the new addition.
The 2,000-square-foot expansion will provide room for a new children's
section as well as office space, a craft/work room and first-floor storage of supplies.
Current library space, which measured 2,700 square feet, will be renovated to house an
expanded adult section with books, videos and magazines.
"I'm really excited about this project because it will mean more
space for the children and the possibility of creating quiet spaces where adults can
read," Prenger said. "We have needed extra space for quite a few years. My
office is currently located on the second shelf of the return book cart. We're looking
forward to increasing after-school activities in the future."
The additional space in both sections will create more room for books.
At the current time, old books have to be taken off the shelves to make room for new.
Harrod said the most difficult project to date was creating an opening
in a brick wall that separated the library and the former doctor's office. There had been
an opening decades ago when the building housed a furniture store. However, it had been
closed up in more recent times. Plans call for the library's circulation desk to span
portions of both sections to provide visual surveillance.
The village and officials at the Auglaize County Library, of which the
Minster facility is a branch, have negotiated a new lease. The current monthly rent of
$225 will increase to $300 for nearly double the space. Harrod considers the $75 increase
a bargain that will benefit the community.
A fund-raising committee, which is an extension of The Friends of the
Library, has been established to raise funds for furnishing and outfitting the remodeled
"I encourage all of Minster to stop in and see what their library
has to offer," Prenger said. "This is an exciting time for us."
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