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Library back up running: Temporary location is Unity Elementary School

After a month of moving and adjusting, the LaGrange Memorial Library is back up and running in its temporary location. 

During the renovations of the library building on Alford Street, the library is located inside the gymnasium of the old Unity Elementary School. 

Troup-Harris Regional Library System Director Keith Schuermann said it took library staff approximately a month to get everything out of the library and moved into the school.  

“We opened the doors on Wednesday,” Schuermann said. “We had a pretty full parking lot and people coming in and out our first day. A lot of people are just happy to get back and have material to read after not having it for a month. Then, there’s still a lot of people that are in dire need of computer and internet access.” 

Along with all of the main books in the gym, the computers are in the old language lab and the kids room is in the cafeteria.  

“It is pretty wonky as you can imagine. We have a basketball net along with rows of books,” Schuermann said. “We have all of our same materials. It is just a different set up.” 

The library is using the three rooms under a leasing agreement with the Troup County School System, which owns the property. The Unity campus is also in use partially by Hillside Montessori School. Hillside Montessori is using two former preschool buildings separate from the main building. 

The library will pay a monthly fee of $3,500 to TCSS for basic maintenance costs. It will also pay for utilities, pro-rated for the part of the building in use.

Troup County and the City of LaGrange both contributed $1 million each to the renovations. The library also received a $2 million capital grant from the state of Georgia and $2 million from the Callaway Foundation. Another $800,000 will need to be raised from private sources. 

Lawrenceville-based CAS Architecture is providing architectural design and engineering services. 

The library has not been renovated since 1994. After renovations are complete, the library will be in its eighth version since establishment in 1921, when the LaGrange Woman’s Club opened and operated the city’s first public library in the Queenie Heard House. 

Schuermann said they expect renovations to take 12 to 14 months. 

“People have been very appreciative and flexible considering everything,” Schuermann said. “We would ask for patience and support moving forward.”