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Library construction complete

TICONDEROGA - Library patrons in Ticonderoga are getting an early Christmas present.

The Black Watch Memorial Library expansion project is complete and open to the community.

An open house has been scheduled noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. The library will give out pencils, mints and bookmarks. New users can sign up for a card and people can view the improvements.

There will be no ceremony. A formal dedication is scheduled for summer.

"It'll be very informal," said Heather Johns, senior library clerk. "People are welcome to come it, look around and talk to our board members."

The project more than doubled the space in the library. The existing building was 1,405 square feet; the addition added another 1,450 square feet of space. The general contractor for the project was Bast Hatfield.

The addition includes a reading room, a meeting room, a children's room and allows for expanded programs and computer use.

"We love it," Johns said of the new-look library. "It came out even better than I imagined."

The project also made the library fully handicap accessible.

"One of the main goals of the project was to make the library completely handicap accessible," Johns said. "We accomplished that."

A library expansion has been in the works for two decades, explained Steve Whitford, a Ticonderoga town councilor who serves on the library committee.

With an initial price tag of $1 million, the library just couldn't find the money, he said.

"About four years ago we scaled back the plans and things really started to happen," Whitford said.

The expansion project cost $565,000. The money came from grants and donations.

The Black Watch Memorial Library was built in 1905 with funds from Andrew Carnegie, who funded 1,946 libraries throughout the United States between 1881 and 1917.

Every year, the Black Watch Library has more than 23,000 visits and circulates 24,000 books.

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