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Douglas Public Library parking lot will be finished soon

by Merrie Leininger, staff writer

Although the parking lot construction isn’t quite on target, Douglas County Public Library Director Linda Deacy said she expects it will be done soon.

“If the weather holds up, I expect it will be done within a couple of weeks. The landscaper will put in the trees and shrubs now and plant the small stuff in the spring,” Deacy said. “It was supposed to be done on Nov. 25, but the big snow storm we had a couple of weeks ago stopped them for quite a few days.”

Deacy said the patrons have been very understanding, although they have to park on the street and take a round-about walkway to get into the library.

“They’ve been real good about it. The construction crew has been surprised about how determined people are to get here and that some people come every day,” Deacy said. “People know that it has to get done and that this is a good time to get it, before winter and before the real nice weather next year.”

Wilson Construction is adding the 14 new parking spots and putting in a patio for outside meetings, Deacy said. The original budget for the project was $435,000, but they will come in at $219,000. The whole project came in far under budget because the original plan was to buy some adjoining land to put more parking spaces on, but that deal fell through.

“We did it on existing land. We don’t have as many parking spots as we had hoped, but we hope to be able to put staff parking in land we own behind the library, so that should clear out some spaces for patrons,” Deacy said.

Rice Landscaping has designed the new look outside the library. Deacy said the idea was to take out a lot of the grass and put in a variety of drought- and fire-resistant native plants.

“A lot of people move here from areas like California that have different growing seasons and it is just different from trying to grow things in the high desert,” she said.

Deacy said she hopes the library patrons will use the landscaping as a learning garden and come to the library for advice about planting.

Deacy said the parking lot construction has not been too disturbing to library staff, although they just went through construction of a new wing.

“We’ve been under construction since September 1998. This actually has been the least disruptive. There is nothing tipping over and falling on us. The contractor has been great to work with,” Deacy said.

And, it’s not over yet. Deacy said there are plans to remodel the public meeting room and she has recently asked the county commissioners for money to recarpet the main portion of the library.

“It’s hard when you have this many people coming in and out every day. Things just plain wear out,” she said.