Considerable progress has been made at the new Schuyler Public Library in the past few weeks.

Brick has been set along the outside of the building, drywall has been placed inside and the electrical work is in its final stages.

The library is expected to open in early February, and Director Jenny White is excited for the final steps.

“We have been talking with an interior decorating team who has been helping us decide what colors to use for the carpet and painting scheme,” White said.

Although the carpet has not been installed, patterns have been selected.

“The young adult room will have a bright blue color to it,” White said. “They’ll have their own dedicated space. I’m hoping one day the high school art students can paint a mural in the room for teens.”

Additional space is another part of the project that excites White.

The new library at Colfax and East 18th streets will be 11,300 square feet, more than double the size of the current downtown location, which is roughly 5,000 square feet.

“The new space is exactly what we need,” White said. “It will give us more space to grow and grow.”

The new facility will have two large meeting rooms for English as a second language classes, educational programs and other events, as well as a small study room.

A reading lounge, called the Sindelar Room, will also be available.

“A Nebraska history and genealogy setup will have its own section,” White said. “I also want to have rotating art displays from area artists.”

White wasn't involved in much of the planning process since she took over as library director about three months ago, but she appreciates the work former Director MeMe Smith and the library board have done to get the project to this point.

A difficult part of the process, White said, will be moving books and materials from the old site to the new location.

“It’s going to be quite a feat,” she said, "but we can do it.”

Her main focus at the new building is growing Schuyler Public Library.

“Circulation and collection will most definitely increase with this new space,” White said. “There will be so much more community space and people space.”

Columbus-based Bierman Contracting is the general contractor for the roughly $2 million library project.

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