The Pittsburg Library gets a facelift with a lot of help from friends
By Robert Barnwell, President of the Library Board
The Library is jointly supported by the City and County, along with donations, and the Friends of the Library. When I was asked to serve on the Board, I had no idea the Library was such an asset to the County and that it is used even a small percent of what it is.
In 2014, the City and County decided to appoint a new Board, which consists of four from the City and four from the County. After the second meeting, the Board informed the librarian that from this day forward, the Board would preside over the Board meetings and the Board would set the policies and the staff would manage the Library and enforce the policies. The next day, the librarian resigned, leaving the Board with only an inexperienced staff. June 1, 2015, we hired Lily Marshall, who had worked there for 19 years, as our Librarian and kept the rest of the staff. Our staff consists of Yorsheika White, Gabriella Gunter, and Ana Martinez.
The Library was built in 1972-73, with cedar shingles on roof and top room sides. The fascia was one – 2 x 10, one - 2 x 6, and one – 1 x 4 cedar boards, the overhang is eight feet around the building and 10 feet on the corners.
When the fascia was removed, there was over 16,000 pounds of weight taken off the overhang of the building. The roof is constructed with four 18 inch ‘I’ beams on each ridge with two foot homemade trusses for support on four foot centers. The top of the trusses have 2 x 6’s flat on top and 2 x 4’s flat on the bottom.
The top of the trusses are the roof and the bottom is the inside ceiling of the building with drop ceiling panels. In approximately 1990, the shingles were taken off and the roof was decked with 4 x 8 sheets of ¾ inch plywood running with the trusses instead of across the trusses, then roofed with composition shingles.
After a few years, the roof began to sag between the trusses so badly, the decking was almost pulling off the top of the trusses and began to leak badly when it rained. There were places on the roof especially on the corners, that we could lay a yard stick across the sag.
In that three feet, the sags may be as much as two inches. Because of the severe pitch of the roof, it was hard to find the leaks and even harder to get them repaired. The roof may leak at the top but would not come out until 20 feet down the roof.
The contractors finally told us they could not repair the leaks because they all had to be repaired from the top, since the bottom of the truss was the inside ceiling. We were given two options for the roof.
One, to take the whole thing off and start over or install a medal roof over the existing roof. Had we had to take the roof off, it would have cost more than the building originally cost. All four corners were sagging down so much, that we could not get anyone to give us a quote to install a new roof, until we took one corner off to see what we were dealing with.
The further we went, the worse it got. On each corner, instead of the purlings being on even four foot centers, they were on eight foot centers, so they were just about to fall off the building. Once we got one corner taken off, we were able to get a firm quote on repairing the roof.
We chose to put a medal roof on over the existing roof stripped with 2 x 4’s instead of 1 x 4’s running across the trusses, then use full length medal from top to bottom, including the room on top. With the 2 x 4’s screwed to the decking, it will prevent any further sagging and in many cases, even pulled a lot of the sag out of the decking.
Once we were able to get a firm bid, the problem was, where was the money going to come from? The bid was $73,509.04 for the roof and another $11,000.00 for electrical and inside work. This would mean, if the work was done, it would cost the City and County each about $37,500 and with budget restraints, they did not have the money.
We were able to get help from Doris Pilgrim Julian Charitable Trust in memory of Aubrey E. Pilgrim, in the amount of $ 50,000.00. So with the help of the City, County, Library Maintenance Fund and an emergency CD, we were able to get all the work done.
Lights were donated from Pilgrim Bank, ceiling tile from contractor, and donations. The building is better than it was, even when new, and is really doing well, as well as with a totally new look. The Library has a new medal roof, new paint job, columns under each corner for added support, new lights, new ceiling tile, new phone lines, computer upgrades and two new air conditioners.
The benefits of the Library are growing each month and are a real asset to the community, it’s something to be very proud of. We now have a very efficient dedicated staff as well as Board of Directors which consists of Robert Barnwell, Alice Johns, Carolyn Franks, Dorothy Drayton, Janet Jones, Jim Bartholomew, Jim Tollett, and Margaret Jackson.
For information about the Library, contact Lily Marshall, (903) 856-3302. Library FaceBook is at: Pittsburg Camp County Public Library. Their website is at: http://www.pittsburglibrary.org/
For renewals, reserves, or to submit memorials, please contact the Public Library at 613 Quitman Street, Pittsburg, Texas 75686, 903-856-3302 or email us. 'Follow' our twitter feed, 'Like' us on Facebook 'Circle' us on Google+; 'Follow' us on Pinterest; or 'Follow' us on Tumblr.