Ferdinand library getting an update


FERDINAND — When the Ferdinand Branch Library opened its doors in 2010, computer labs were a staple at local libraries.

But it’s been a decade, and Wi-Fi and wireless devices have rendered rooms filled with desktop computers obsolete. That’s why when the Dubois County Contractual Library set out in February to refinance the 2008 construction bond that paid to build the Ferdinand library, board members decided to use some of the funds to split the current 25-computer lab into a smaller computer room and a meeting room.

The refinancing process the board is following works just like refinancing a mortgage, Library Director Christine Golden explained, and the process will not result in an increase in taxes. The original bond from 2008 had a 20-year term that would have ended in 2028. Now, the new bond will be for the remaining $2.7 million of the 2008 bond, and will span until 2028 and come with a lower interest rate, freeing up funds for the $150,000 remodel at the Ferdinand branch.

An additional meeting room is much needed, Golden said. Currently, the branch has a large multipurpose room that was rented out 249 times in 2019, with potential renters having to be turned away because the room was already booked.

“We’re hoping with this [remodel] to have fewer people be turned down,” Golden said.

Currently, the multipurpose room is used by local companies and nonprofits to hold meetings, by library staff for programs and by citizens for personal events, such as baby and bridal showers. It’s a large room, and sometimes those using it don’t need as much space. The smaller meeting room planned in the remodel will serve as a way to keep the multipurpose room open for those with larger groups. Universal Design of Ferdinand has drawn up the preliminary designs for the space.

Library staff already plan to use the new meeting room for adult programming once it’s ready. Often, Golden said, the multi-purpose room is much larger than staff need for a program.

Golden expects the remodel to be complete by the end of the year. At their meeting Thursday, board members passed the final resolutions needed to move the refinancing process forward, and the board expects to sell the bonds in the first week of May. At that point, the library will pay off the 2008 bond and begin the new one. The money for the remodel will also be available at that time. Then, the library will bid out the project to contractors.

During the construction, Golden said, there will be little disruption to patrons, and desktop computers will remain available. They will simply be set up on tables throughout the library.

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