Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 25, 2014

Contract awarded to build new library in Cochranton

COCHRANTON — Groundbreaking for a new public library may come as soon as June and, under a best-case scenario, it should take about six months to build the new facility.

At a recent meeting of the library’s board, the contract to build the new library was awarded to Roche Builders of Cochranton for $434,000. The company is owned by Cochranton resident Roger Roche.

 “Roger was our low bidder during the second round of bids and we know he will do a super job. He presented us with a binder that included his figures as well as catalogs for alternate finishes. He is planning to use a lot of local contractors and we like the fact that local people will be working on our building” said board President Susan Armburger. “Hopefully, the weather will co-operate and we can start building.”

The current library at 107 E. Pine St. will continue operation as the new library structure is built in the parking lot behind the building. Once the new building is up, the new building will come down.

The library has been holding fund raisers for construction and a recent auction was a huge success, raising around $12,000. The Friends of the Cochranton Area Public Library group has been busy and has different events planned. One of the local favorites will be the semi-annual used book sale. This year a plant sale featuring plants and vouchers from Wyattville Gardens will run in conjunction with the book sale, which will be held on May 16 and 17.

A “Lunch in the Stacks” will be held so community members can have one last lunch in the old cafeteria as the current library served as the cafeteria for the old elementary and high School. A date will be announced later.

And there is the “One of the 500” effort on The Friends of the Cochranton Area Public Library’s Facebook page to raise funds for the children’s area. This effort honors a special Cochranton Elementary School teacher, Barbara McCartney.

“We are working hard to raise the needed funding” reports Joan Kardos, library board treasurer. “Any donations are always appreciated since this is a big undertaking. We have not yet bid out the cabinetry, landscaping and paving, or the demolition of the old building”.

Many Cochranton residents wonder why a new library is needed when the old one looks good but “looks can be deceiving” said Armburger. “Right now we have blue tarps in the attic to keep rain water out of the electrical system in the ceiling and the foundation for the back of the library is failing. The only reason we are not having more issues is because of the great care the past boards have given the library. The original building was built in the late 1800s and the rear of the building was purchased from the Keystone Ordinance Works”.

“In order for us to move successfully into the future we need to have a solid, safe building with 21st century capabilities, said Nadina Kramer, library director. The new library will have a computer area, children’s area and a new community room with a multi-media projector system available for community groups to hold meetings.

 Anyone with questions or fund raising ideas is welcome to call Kramer at the library at 425-3996.

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