Groundbreaking held for Nancy Carson Library’s million-dollar renovation project

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Nancy Carson Library renovation project Friday afternoon.

The $1.25 million update will include mostly internal adjustments, with the hopes that the building will be more spacious and services will be more streamlined.

The project is expected to be completed by September 2024.

Major changes include a designated teen’s section, the implementation of study areas, a smaller and more effective service desk, a relocated children’s section and more storage space.

“This project is … a significant culmination of a lot of corporations, different stakeholders,” Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker said. “A project like this is not very simple.”

The current contract is for $1,250,000, of which Friends of the Nancy Carson Library Foundation has “very generously” contributed $275,000.

“That leaves about $975,000 from the Aiken County Capital Profit Sales Tax, which is going to support this,” Bunker said.

Gene Helmich, chairperson for the Friends of Nancy Carson Library, spoke about his gratitude for being involved with the project.

“The friends are happy that we have the money to contribute to this … partnership,” he said. “It’s gonna be a great, great facility for the area, for the North Augusta and the Belvedere area. We’re so extremely happy that we started and we look forward to this adventure.”

Sandy Haskell, Aiken County Councilman representing the North Augusta area, spoke briefly.

“I would just like to say thank you for all that’s being done,” he said.

Participants of the groundbreaking were Haskell; Teresa Crain, Aiken County engineering director; Helmich; Mary Jo Dawson, director of the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Library System; Barbara Walker, manager of the Nancy Carson Library; Kim Butler, with the ABBE Board of Trustees; Jane Carter with the ABBE Board of Trustees; Nathan Stewart, president of J.E. Stewart Builders Inc.; Barbara Price of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture; and Bunker.