From a press release from Pittsylvania County:
In order to leverage community funds, Pittsylvania County is investing an additional $100,000 in the Gretna Library expansion and renovation project. While major interior renovations and remodeling are already underway, these funds will help the Gretna Library construct a beautiful, dynamic outdoor landscaped area.
“The expanded landscaping plan will take the Gretna Library renovation from a really nice library in Gretna to a really nice community center in Gretna,” said Adrian Badgett, Gretna Branch Manager for the Pittsylvania County Public Library. “This project will bring more community members and visitors to the library to see, appreciate and love what the county’s library has to offer.”
The Pittsylvania County Library is making renovations to the inside as well as the outside of the current library. Some of these renovations to the outside will include campus sculptures, which encourage reading, inviting reading spaces for children and adults, and book benches, which are used to engage the community in art. There are also plans to add a community stage and seat walls that could be used for outdoor classes, performances, and meetings. Along with the renovations, there are plans of updating their current library sign to a newer sign with an electric message board.
“The Board of Supervisors is committed to supporting the Gretna Library renovation projects because it is an important community project that will bring more to the Gretna area and to our County as a whole” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Vic Ingram. “We chose to make this investment because the library is a very important part of our community that provides resources, activities, and knowledge for people of all ages.”
The Board of Supervisors committed to covering approximately 22% of the exterior project. The Pittsylvania Public Library (PPL) foundation and the Library Board of Trustees committed to funding the remaining 78% of the project. For this landscaping project, the PPL foundation has already raised $195,000 with another $80,000 in progress. The County’s decision to contribute an additional $100,000 will help facilitate the contribution of more community funds. The Danville Regional Foundation (“DRF”) and the J.T. Minnie-Maude Charitable Trust also encouraged the Library Board and the Library Foundation to consider expanding the outdoor plans for the Library to take advantage of the Library’s lot size and location between Gretna Middle and High Schools.
In addition to this $100,000, the Board of Supervisors has already contributed $500,000 to the interior renovations. In total, the PPL has contributed and raised $453,000 and is working to raise another $370,000 in funding for the outdoor renovations.
With the support of the County and other local funding organizations, the former DCC space will now be transformed into a community meeting room, public computer space, and expanded reading and video selections for adult fiction, nonfiction, large print, audiobooks, videos, and newspapers and magazines. The existing library space on the west side of the building will be renovated to house a new teen reading and study space and a much larger children’s and juvenile reading area, including computers for children to work at. The current meeting room will become a children’s programming and craft room.
The renovation of the library has been in the works since 2019 but was delayed by the pandemic. Sharp increases in construction and material costs due to supply chain shortages have increased cost estimates. During its February meeting, the Board approved the expenditure of almost $90,000 on the first of six planned construction phases for the interior renovations.
The Gretna Library is expanding its operational hours from the current 48 hours per week to 52 hours per week to include four Saturday hours and anticipates expanding that to six Saturday hours (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) when the exterior work is completed.