Gretna library renovation project gets $100,000 boost

An additional $100,000 is giving a boost to renovation efforts already underway at the Gretna branch of the Pittsylvania County Public Library.

The latest round of funding from the county will help build an outdoor landscape.

Previously, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors allotted about $500,000 for the building’s renovation. The library’s foundation has raised about $453,000 and is now looking at bringing in another $370,000 for the outdoor endeavors.

“The expanded landscaping plan will take the Gretna Library renovation from a really nice library in Gretna to a really nice community center in Gretna,” said Adrian Badgett, Gretna branch manager for the Pittsylvania County Public Library. “This project will bring more community members and visitors to the library to see, appreciate and love what the county’s library has to offer.”

In the works since 2019, the coronavirus caused a few hurdles to get to this point. In addition, the dramatic jump in construction costs associated with supply chain shortages have driven up the price tag.

Outside renovation plans include campus sculptures, reading spaces for children and adults, and book benches, which are used to engage the community in art, the county reported in a news release.

In addition, there are plans to add a community stage and seat walls that could be used for outdoor classes, performances and meetings, the release stated.

“The Board of Supervisors is committed to supporting the Gretna Library renovation projects because it is an important community project that will bring more to the Gretna area and to our County as a whole” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Vic Ingram. “We chose to make this investment because the library is a very important part of our community that provides resources, activities, and knowledge for people of all ages.”

The project is divided into six phases in an effort to minimize disruption of services. Daniels Construction was awarded the contract to handle the first phase impacting the front doors and bathrooms. In turn, that’ll set the stage for expansion throughout the 6,375-square foot building.

Other phases will remove walls and classroom fixtures formerly occupied by Danville Community College. The college used the space from 1999 — when the building was constructed — up until late 2015, the release reported.

Ultimately, that area will become a community meeting room, public computer space and expanded reading and video selections for adult fiction, nonfiction, large print, audiobooks, videos and newspapers and magazines.

The Gretna Library is expanding its operational hours from the current 48 hours per week to 52 hours per week to include four Saturday hours and anticipates expanding that to six Saturday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) when the exterior work is completed, the release stated.

From Staff Reports | Register & Bee