Furniture problem delays opening of new East Hancock Library - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Furniture problem delays opening of new East Hancock Library

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The East Hancock Public Library was schedule to open by Thanksgiving. Now, library officials don't expect it to be ready until after the new year. The East Hancock Public Library was schedule to open by Thanksgiving. Now, library officials don't expect it to be ready until after the new year.
The new $1.3 million 6,500 square foot library is a contemporary glass-and-steel building, designed around a river theme. It will also feature an outdoor patio for library users to enjoy. The new $1.3 million 6,500 square foot library is a contemporary glass-and-steel building, designed around a river theme. It will also feature an outdoor patio for library users to enjoy.
DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) -

An equipment failure at a furniture factory is pushing back the opening of the new public library in Diamondhead. The East Hancock Public Library was schedule to open by Thanksgiving. Now, library officials don't expect it to be ready until after the new year.

"I can't tell you how frustrating this delay is to the library staff members and community volunteers who have been working on the opening of the East Hancock Library for well over a year," said Patty Furr, Hancock County Library System Executive Director.

"We were right on track to open the new library before Thanksgiving, and we were so disappointed to hear that a glitch at the furniture factory has caused the library opening to be delayed. With the schedule we now have been given, it will probably be mid-January before all of the books, AV items, furnishings, computers and equipment can be put into place and readied for opening day."

Furr said the furniture manufacturer has apologized profusely, but the failure of a large, specialized industrial saw and a wait for a replacement part have thrown the entire schedule behind by 6-8 weeks.

According to Furr, assembling a public library "from scratch" is more complicated than one might imagine.

"The process is actually much like choreographing a ballet - - one stage of the installation has to build upon another. Unfortunately when one or two elements are delayed for any reason, it can cascade the entire schedule and push everything back."

Furr said the largest pieces of furniture must be in place before wires and cables can be run, and electronic equipment installed.

"The schedule also has to accommodate bringing the life-sized Mississippi river raft and other large Mark Twain art pieces for the new children's library through the doors before the sensitive and easily-damaged security gates can be put in place. All the installation work must be done in sequence in order to prevent items from being damaged in the process."  

The new $1.3 million 6,500 square foot library is a contemporary glass-and-steel building, designed around a river theme. It will also feature an outdoor patio for library users to enjoy. The new library meeting room will accommodate 60-70 persons and will be available free to non-profit community groups needing a place to conduct meetings.

It's expected to quickly become one of the busiest of the library system's five branches.

"We have over 12,000 library card holders that live in the East Hancock area, and we believe that they will love having this convenient and up-to-date library in their communities."

The library is located in the Shepherd Square area behind the Diamondhead shopping center adjacent to the Hancock Medical Center's facilities on a 1.5 acre site.

Supervisor Lisa Cowand has been working on a plan to establish a bike and golf cart path that area residents can use to travel to the library or the nearby Hancock Medical Center.

"This new path will be a great option for those who would like to bike or drive their golf carts to physical therapy or to visit the new library," she said. "With the cost of gas, we expect many area residents will want to take advantage of this new way of traveling to the Hancock Medical Center campus and to visit the new library."

Federal CDBG and HUD grants obtained by the Hancock County Board of Supervisors funded construction of the facility.

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