Plans for new Ragland library on hold
by Gary Hanner
May 16, 2012 | 1251 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Plans to construct a new library in Ragland have been put on hold.

Last Thursday, the Ragland Town Council met for a work session after the Assembly of God Church decided to move from the old nutrition center.

Now, the council is looking at renovating that building to house the library.

On Monday, during its regular meeting, the council agreed to get estimates on what it would cost to renovate the old nutrition center in order to make it the new library building.

They also agreed to put the current project of building a new library on hold for at least the next 30 days.

The Assembly of God Church had been renting the old nutrition center building for at least the past four years, and rent on the building was $750 per month.

City clerk Penny Owens said on May 4, one of the church members came in and turned in the keys to the building.

Apparently, church members are meeting now at the Presbyterian Church building on Woods Bend Road.

Mayor Lanis White said there is a new air-conditioning unit being installed at the old nutrition center, and the roof has had some work done on it.

“One of the problems there is the foundation and the water that gets in the basement when we have a lot of rain,” White said. “As far as the building being structurally sound, it is. There would actually be more room in this old nutrition building (square footage) than the new building that is being considered.”

White said one of the things the council has to think about, is that architect Ronald Cannon has already sent the town a bill for $16,500 for his services.

The contractor who was awarded the bid, Allen Hawkins, said the town owed him $10,000 thus far.

“If we halt the project out here, and didn’t go through with it, we would still owe them that,” White said. “I would hope this would be a price that maybe we could negotiate.”

White said another expense that has been dropped on the town is the cost to have the old library torn down.

“According to our city attorney, we will have to have it torn down,” White said. “We will have to be very careful also with all the mold.”

At Monday’s meeting, the council adopted an ordinance to solicit bids for the demolition of the old library building.

White said they had agreed to spend about $280,000 on the bid to build the new library. The city had received about $345,000 from the insurance company after the April 27, 2011 tornado destroyed the old library building.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.

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