Story by Jessica Ranck with KTAB/KRBC on November 12, 2019
While things may be quiet at the old Lincoln Middle School now, it won’t be long before the familiar sounds of books being stacked and checked in echo off these historic walls.
“They’re going to see parking lots getting dug up, trees getting moved, fences going up, lots of heavy equipment coming on to the site,” said City Librarian Lori Grumet.
The Abilene Public Library is turning the first page on a new chapter.
“We’ve gotten to the place where we are at the basic layout for how that library will fit into that historic building,” said Grumet.
Those plans include a place for a children’s area on the second floor secluded from the rest as well as a genealogy and local history section in the heart of the old building,
“To us it’s suitable, you know the books that tell about the history of Abilene will be in a historic part of the building,” said Grumet.
It’s all part of a design caters to the next generation of readers.
“Think back to your childhood when libraries were “Shhh, you can’t talk” and now it’s really almost interactive with the librarians, with other patrons,” said Friends of the Abilene Public Library President Judith Phaneuf.
Phaneuf says the Friends of the Abilene Public Library will also be providing monetary support to that new building as the chain fences go up to make way for a piece of history to take a new shape.
“When the high school was built in the 1920s, it was the star of the city and it’s going to be very wonderful and exciting thing to see that all revived and brought back and given back to the community as usable space for every one that lives here,” said Grumet.
“It’s going to be a place where Abilenians want to come,” said Phaneuf.
Officials say it should take about 3 years to finish the new facility once construction begins.