Big renovations on the way for Aiken County Public Library

Friday, January 24, 2020
News 12 NBC 26

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -The Aiken County Public Library is making some changes.

A multi-million dollar renovation project is in the works.

"I think this library is a little dated just because of when it was renovated to be a library," said Jessica Christian, the manager of the Aiken County Public Library.

That renovation happened 30 years ago, and parts of the building are over 100 years old.

The first sign of progress from the new renovations is a safer staircase.

"That was one thing that people were very concerned about was the fact that the front stairs are very steep and the building was hard to get into," Christian said.

But that's just part of phase one, and it will be completed by April. The rest of the renovations will open the building up for the community.

"There's some programs that we've been wanting to do that we couldn't do, because we didn't have the space and the meeting room was always booked," Christian said.

They will be adding five new meeting rooms and even a conference room. New technology is also in the plans.

"Right now, the computers downstairs for the kids are just for playing games on, and now they are going to be able to access the internet," Christian said.

Christian says it will open the door for more education. But first, the North wing of the library needs to be renovated.

That's what they'll use while the actual library is being transformed.

The project is being paid for by capital sales tax money and the Friends of the Library.

"I feel like if we are not staying with current trends and technology and trends in libraries, then we are just not going to be relevant," Christian said.

Friends of the Library says the main library renovation will start this summer. It's expected to take about a year to finish.