Tyrone-Snyder Public Library progress noted during Chamber breakfast

Leaders in the business community were briefed on the progress of construction efforts with the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library at yesterday’s monthly breakfast of the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce at LaScalia’s Restaurant.
According to Library Board President Fred Thomas, Jeff Long’s contracting team has diligently preparing the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Tenth Street for the library’s targeted move-in time for this upcoming summer. Thomas said the roof is nearly completed and soon, the contractor will be inside working on the interior layout of the building.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I was always intrigued by the library,” said Thomas, who noted that he lived on a farm and cherished the thoughts of being able to go to the library. “It’s an important service to this and surrounding communities and we’re just tickled to know this great community is behind our efforts one hundred percent.”
The decision to build a new library came after past library boards scoured the Tyrone area for three years in search of the “perfect place” to construct the facility. Thomas said at least 10 locations were looked at before the board finally agreed the former Jones Building would be the ideal location.
“We were in the current location (Logan Avenue) for quite some time now and it just seemed we kept growing and growing,” said Thomas. “We thought establishing the library down on that corner would not only provide a better facility that’s easier to get to, but it also brings back that special flare back to the downtown. It’s a beautiful building.”
Much more beautiful than at the current location – and more functional also.
The facility on Logan Avenue contains just 3,515 square feet of area. Consultants recommend a minimum of 9,000 square feet for a library to serve a community of this size.
It doesn’t meet local codes or the Americans with Disabilities Act and has no elevator or access ramp.
However, the new facility is planned to include those important aspects.
According to Thomas, the new library will be housed in a 7,000-plus square foot facility that is completely handicapped accessible. It will also contain a more reliable heating and cooling system that isn’t available at the current location. The building design also allows for expansion should the library board decides it needs more room in the future.
“Every way we look at this thing is in the positive,” said Thomas. “I can’t wait until this summer to see the doors open and everything ready to go.”
In addition to Thomas’ update concerning construction, library Director Lynne Nearhoof offered a glance at some of the many services the new facility will provide.
She noted the adult area will contain more than 25,000 books and will provide four tables in the area for study. There will also be a periodicals area where visitors can view or check-out more than 55 periodicals the library currently subscribes to.
There is also a children’s area that has much more room than the children’s area at the present location. Here, kids can look at one of almost 10,000 books geared to the younger generations.
There will also be computer terminals in both areas that can be used by patrons. In all, 17 different computers will be scattered about the facility, mostly in a computer room.
Other highlights of the building will include a listening room named after former TAHS band director, a local history room and a community conference room that can be utilized even if the library is not open.
Nearfhoof also said more services will be added to the programs, which includes a new projector for PowerPoint presentations.
The total cost to construct the new library is estimated at around $625,000. Long has agreed to purchase the old building from the board for the amount of $100,000 which will knock down the bill, as will the addition of a $100,000 state grant that has already been secured and another $100,000 sitting in library bank accounts.
Fundraising has been at the forefront for library officials, who were happy to announce an upcoming benefit concert slated for Feb. 15 at the Tyrone Area High School.
Scheduled to perform are legendary doo-wop artists The Marcels and Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners’.
According to public relations director Chuck Banas, tickets are selling fast and he expects all of the 1,136 tickets to be sold by the middle of this month.
Tickets are $30 an all proceeds will be donated to the library’s building fund. They can be purchased at a number of locations, including the library, Joy Beans, the Bull Pen, Med-Center Pharmacy, Miller’s Car Care and Bressler’s Food Mart and Sports. There are also a number of locations in Altoona and State College and tickets can be purchased from any board member. For more ticket information, contact 684-7929 or 684-1133.
Jim Phillips, president of the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce, said the February Chamber of Commerce breakfast will be highlighted with a talk from Tyrone Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Thomas Bartlett, who will speak to the group regarding simplifying the billing process at hospitals.
Phillips also noted February’s Chamber After Hours will be sponsored by Epworth Manor. It is scheduled for Feb. 27.
For more information, contact the TACOC at 684-0736.