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A Library Building by the Numbers
$2.159 million raised so far
October 27, 2023

t’s been a few years since the Friends of the Library began working to build a new home for The Pamlico County Library.

Currently, the county library shares space with the high school library – and there isn’t enough room for both. So the Friends of the Pamlico County Library (FOL), a non-profit organization, went looking for a building that could house the Pamlico County library on its own.

They found it at the shuttered Hardee’s drive-thru restaurant on Highway 55. The lot is close enough to the high school that students can walk to it and it has room for future expansion if necessary.

The old fast-food building and lot were purchased in 2019. FOL started drawing up plans with the help of an architect, and the fundraising began. Once in the thick of it – and facing rising supply costs – some adjustments to the original building had to be made.

The original design for the library building had trawler outriggers outside the entrance, and more light coming in from above. There were also plans for solar panels.

“The original building design has been edited,” explained Izzy Keppner, in a statement from the FOL, “to reduce the overall construction cost.” Current estimates for construction alone are between $2.2 – $2.6 million.

A list of expenditures for the project, provided by FOL Treasurer Rich Bartz, is available in the links below. Numbers will be adjusted after November 1, he said, when the FOL receives the professional cost estimate, and possibly again when contractors submit project bids in December and January.

“On the outside it still looks like a fast-food restaurant,” said Keppner, “but on paper things are moving right along.”

As of mid-October, the FOL has raised $2.159 million in grants, donations, and state and third-party funds. It goes a long way, but it doesn’t cover the cost of furnishing the building, moving expenses, or buying new electronics to replace the ones that must stay with the high school.

“FOL wants to turn the keys over to Pamlico County and its residents debt-free,” Keppner said, “not as an expense to taxpayers.” They still need a little help.

The updated version of the new library has fewer sky lights, the outriggers are gone, and no plans for solar at this time. It’s a more modest building, but it’s one the FOL can turn over to the county library debt-free.

That’s where this weekend’s Witches’ Crawl comes in.

Every year, the the Witches gather on the lawn at the corner of King and Neuse Streets in Oriental to dance and raise money for different charities and causes in Pamlico County. This year, they dance for the new Pamlico County Library building.

If you’d like to donate directly to the library building fund, you can click here.

You can also bring cash or a check to the Witches’ Crawl. If donating by check, please make out to Friends of the Pamlico County Library.

Keppner says there are more updates to come, and a groundbreaking is expected in early 2024.

Related Links

Posted Friday October 27, 2023 by Allison DeWeese

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