Broken Bow Public Library on Track for End-of-Year Completion

Broken Bow Public Library on Track for End-of-Year Completion
Exterior of Broken Bow Public Library; current building on the right, expansion project on the left

Everything seems to be on schedule to be done by the end of December

- Joan Birnie, Library Director

Construction continues in downtown Broken Bow as the $2 million library renovation project begins to take shape. According to the library website, nearly 4,000 square feet will be added to the current space and will feature a large multi-purpose space, meeting rooms, increased storage, an open-area main entrance, and a larger children’s room.

JEO Consulting Group, Inc. Senior Project Manager Marv Larson met with Library Director Joan Birnie, Chief Construction, city officials, and other local subcontractors on Tuesday to discuss the project’s progress, as well as obstacles.

Tuesday featured a discussion about uneven cement flooring in the future main entrance that will need repair before carpet and tile can be installed by Chapin’s. Despite asbestos removal this past spring, Larson expects the community will be able to enjoy the new space by the end of the year.

“We have challenges every time we do a renovation project, addition and renovation. We’re always kind of in discovery mode and so, that’s what we try and do with these progress meetings – is to work through those issues that the contractor discovers as they start through the construction and get into the various areas,” Larson said. “It’s not unusual to find some issues that we have to work through and we try and do that as a team and try and come up with the best solution.”

The library fireplace will be electric and the surrounding space fill feature cozy seating and additional shelves. Some of the new doors will consist of electric access systems, interior bricks will be painted, and public computer access will still be available.

Todd Jonas with Central Nebraska Electric said things are on track from an electrical standpoint. Exterior masonry, roof work, drywall, and repairs to the original structure are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

Library Director Joan Birnie said everything seems to be on schedule to be done by the end of December and she stated many components that she and the rest of the library staff are excited to see.

“[We are excited for] the open space, how much area there will be for people to enjoy, for the children’s room. It will just be – even though it’s basically the same building – it will be a whole different feel, so we’re excited to have people see the changes and enjoy what they’ve worked hard for, with us,” Birnie said.

The community has truly come together with the library staff and the city to raise the necessary funds. $180,000 is still needed for updated technology, furniture, and other equipment. To reach this goal, grant applications are being prepared and a major donor meeting is scheduled for next week.

Sponsors are still sought after to help keep the lights on at the temporary building, 220 Industrial Park Drive. Volunteers and staff helped move into the temporary space in March, where the public is invited to visit Monday through Thursday 10am to 8pm, Friday 10am to 6pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm.