01/20/14 — Work on Mount Olive library ahead of schedule

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Work on Mount Olive library ahead of schedule

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on January 20, 2014 1:46 PM

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Work is progressing on a new entrance to the old Belk building, the new home of Steele Memorial Library. Construction has gone so well on the project that the move-in date has been moved up.

A steady construction schedule has moved up the completion date of the future Steele Memorial Library from mid-summer to closer to the beginning of summer.

"By the end of May, you'll be checking books out," said Kent Warren, vice president of Jackson Builders.

The county awarded a $2.275 million design/build contract to Jackson Builders in October to convert the old Belk department store building into the library's new home.

Right now, the interior of the future library has metal frames installed that separate individual rooms. Workers can point out what areas will be used for what, and even though the inside of the building is little more than a metal skeleton over concrete floors, a little imagination can quickly create the future space.

Lynn Williams, the chairwoman of the original Steele Memorial steering committee, which collected $300,000 from the community for the library, already claimed a spot for her reading chair.

"It'll be a really nice space," she said while pointing to an area that will be a future reading corner. "I think it's going to be my favorite spot."

In the coming weeks, construction workers will be completing the installation of the ductwork, which is currently hanging randomly, and putting in the windows.

The roof, recently found to be more damaged than anticipated, is still mostly missing, but a $39,185 change order made in December has the materials waiting to be installed.

Warren also estimated that the exterior of the building will be completed by April and ready for the guests of the N.C. Pickle Festival.

"We've come a long way from the inside of the Belk building," Mrs. Williams said.