From hamburgers to $2.5 million Library!

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Kat Clowers (former Librarian): “In this county, The Library is its heart!”

BAYBORO – A hard-working group known as ‘Friends of the Pamlico County Library’ twisted (very gently)  the arms of elected officials Monday night, describing in detail a quest to transform the former Hardee’s Hamburgers building into a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose public library. 

Bonnie Capp, leader of Friends, credited State Senator Norm Sanderson for his help in landing almost $600,000 in state funds as seed capital for an ambitious fundraising campaign. 

Current projections put the total tab for the building, expansion, and improvements at approximately $2.5 million. However, Doug Brinson, chairman of the Pamlico County Board of Commissioners, warned that inflation trends are rapidly eroding buying power – especially in the building and construction industry. 

Walter Vick, another operative of Friends, put current construction costs at between $211 to  $225 per square foot, “up dramatically” from original estimates of several years ago. 

Brinson and others on the Commission signaled their willingness to partner with Friends. In the works will be some type of formal alliance, which will likely open up grant application opportunities that are not now available.

However, the board declined any promise of a future capital contribution – at least for the time being. The consensus among both parties is that this project is good for Pamlico County – how to pay for it is a difficult, but far from impossible, assignment. 

Blessings came by way of a compliment from Brinson: “You’ve got a choice piece of property there on Highway 55. Job well done.”

In the works is a ‘show and tell’ session – open to the public. That event has been tentatively scheduled for the second weekend in May.