Elkhart public library still under construction

ELKHART, Ind.-- It seems like it will never come to an end. The Elkhart Public Library has been undergoing renovations since October.

It was supposed to be wrapped up in January, but work is still well underway.

Library Director, Deborah Stewart says it's been one obstacle after another throughout the construction.
But, despite the mess, the library has been able to remain open during the renovations. 
Empty shelves, rolls of carpet, and bare walls aren’t exactly what comes to mind when you think about a library.  But the Elkhart Public Library has been that way for months.
“Chaos! Organized chaos,” described Stewart.
And Stewart is the chaos organizer.
“It’s actually easier to build a whole new building from scratch than keep the building open during the renovations.”
Since construction began in October, the library has hit several stumbling blocks.
First, the construction workers found the asbestos tiles while they were ripping up the old carpeting. Then, when the new carpeting came in, it wasn’t right.
“The installers and manufacturers didn’t think it was right and they didn’t want to put it down unless it was perfect.”
Now, they’re still waiting on the new carpet. It was supposed to arrive on Thursday.
"I anticipate at least another 3 weeks until we can open up the entire building."
But, despite the month and a half delay, patrons are making the best of a slow situation.
"It's real convenient,” said Anna Alexander, a weekly library patron. “They've made it easy."
"It hasn't bothered me,” added Darlene Adkins, another regular patron. “Yes, there are workmen all around, but I don't pay attention to them and they don’t' pay attention to me
It’s attitudes like Adkins’ and Alexander’s that make Stewart’s chaotic construction, bearable.
"The people of Elkhart have just been wonderful. They really have," said Stewart.

Share this article: