Foundation to boost library-expansion effort

Story by Chris Graham

When times are tight, and really, when are they not tight, when you’re talking from a local-government perspective, you have to be creative.

“The $2 million figure is based on a 2005 study that is now dated. Construction costs have gone up pretty significantly since that study was done. We know that we’re going to need to come up with some more money, and we know that times are tight for the city,” said Waynesboro Public Library director Zahir Mahmoud, talking about the effort to establish a nonprofit Waynesboro Public Library Foundation to help raise monies toward the 4,000-square-foot expansion of the South Wayne Avenue library building.

Voters approved a bond referendum providing in the area of $2 million toward the expansion at the polls last year. Mahmoud and the library’s board of trustees began the work that led to the development of the foundation to provide a supplementary source of revenues to the project, which is about to get going with the pending approval of a contract with an as-yet unnamed architectural and engineering firm that will lead the library project.

The design process is expected to take four months, Mahmoud said, with construction slated to get going in early 2009.

The WPL Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $500,000 to add to the monies being contributed to the work by city taxpayers, Mahmoud said.

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