published Monday, July 8th, 2013

LaFayette library renovation put on hold indefinitely for lack of funds

  • photo
    Construction on the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library renovation and expansion is being suspended due to a lack of money. Some of the work was done by Georgia Department of Corrections inmates.
    Photo by Patrick Smith.
    enlarge photo

LaFAYETTE, Ga. — A $4 million renovation of the library in downtown LaFayette has run out of money. So boards will go up this week over the windows and doors of the building at 305 S. Duke St. to secure it as construction work stops until funding is found.

“I’m heartbroken,” said Lecia Eubanks, director of the Cherokee Regional Library, which has branches in LaFayette, Chickamauga, Rossville and Trenton. “The economy, I think, has been the biggest culprit in all of this.”

Sales and property tax revenues have been lower than anticipated, county officials say.

The renovation is 90 percent complete, Eubanks told the LaFayette City Council at its meeting Monday night.

Finish work that still needs to be done includes installing ceiling tiles, plumbing fixtures, carpeting and flooring, she said.

But the library is about $300,000 short of cash promised by Walker County, Eubanks said, and $60,000 promised by the city of LaFayette.

“The library just didn’t want to get in a position where we couldn’t pay our bills,” she said.

Read more in Tuesday's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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