By Wayne Gates –
A major renovation project is planned for the library at Georgetown Junior/Senior High School.
The GEVS board voted to spend up to $315,000 on the project at its Dec. 21 meeting.
The money will come from the district’s permanent improvement fund, which is intended for items and projects that will last five years or more.
The board will open sealed bids on the project in February, with the idea that the project will be completed August 1 of next year before the new school year begins.
“We are retooling our library to meet the needs of today,” said Superintendent Christo-pher Burrows.
“This is a project that we’ve been saving for over the past three or four years. There will be no loans taken out to do this project.”
Burrows said the idea came from the fact that he felt that the library was being underutilized.
“The library is one of the biggest spaces in our school and it’s in the center of our school and no one was ever in there,” he said.
“We did a study over the past five years with the books in the library. It turned out that only fifty books out of thousands were checked out in a given year.”
Burrows said that the suggestion of Principal Jerry Underwood, students were brought into the planning process for the new library.
“Mr. Underwoods idea to involve the students was monumental because it allowed them to feel like the project was theirs. They took the plans back to their peers and got input from them, so more students than just those directly involved got to participate in the project,” Burrows said.
A group of community members were also invited to give input on the project.
Burrows said that the new library will have new furniture, group work spaces and the ten percent of the books that were being checked out on a regular basis.
“We designed little learning pods all over the library with cool furniture that appeals to kids,” he said. “We also added some flexible learning spaces that are semi-private so kids can go work with technology without being interrupted.”
Burrows said that the library will also be open until five p.m. on school days to help students.
“Any student in our school grades seven through 12 that needs to work on a project after school in a safe environment with state of the art technology can do that,” he said.
Burrows also said that school board meetings will also be held in the new library once the project is complete.