Plans to build a new and modern library in the Tarkington community have taken the next step with architect Thomas Upchurch of Upchurch Architects in Brenham, Texas, having recently completed the building’s design.
The new facility will replace the current log cabin building, located at 3032 FM 163, that is facing the end of its life span as powder post beetles and termites have caused significant damage to the structure. The community center building, located on the same property, will remain and be adjacent to the new library.
At approximately 3,325 square feet, it will be twice the size of the current library building, according to Librarian Laura Walker, and will be constructed on a slab foundation with cypress siding.
The design for the new library will include wood beams and interior as a way of giving a nod to the old building and the timber industry in the area, she said.
There will be reading nooks, a quiet area and moveable shelves in the adult patron section of the library.
“Unlike the current library building, it will only be one story,” she said. “The children’s area will be visible from and close to the circulation desk. It will have lower shelves, a window seat and an area for storytime. The young adult section will have lower shelves for better visibility and access as well. It will also have tables for reading and studying.”
In a separate space, there will be computer stations for privacy and noise control.
“The open concept will lend itself to displaying Tarkington Prairie Historical Commission’s artifacts. The front porch of the library will have the ability to be used as a stage for future events,” said Walker.
Now that the design is finished, the next challenge is fundraising.
“The building is estimated to cost between $850,000 and $900,000. Once we reach a fundraising goal of $50,000, the Rice-Richardson Foundation will match the amount. So far we have been able to raise more than $36,000,” Walker said. “We have another $27,000 that has been committed by another donor that doesn’t count toward the matching grant with the Rice-Richardson Foundation.”
The gap between the amount raised and the projected costs will rely on the Tarkington Community Library being able to generate more donations or being approved for grants. Walker said the library is actively in the process of applying for grants and is being advised by a local expert in grants – J. Rice of Tarkington.
“He came by and gave me a crash course on where to look for grants. I have already put in one letter of inquiry for a grant, but I won’t know about it just July of this year,” she said.
The Tarkington community can help in these fundraising efforts by making donations, both large and small, organizing fundraisers and connecting Library staff to grant opportunities with private and corporation businesses. For questions or suggestions, please contact Laura Walker by sending email to email@example.com or calling 281-592-5136.