Mathews Memorial Library preparing for major addition

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jun 01, 2011 - 03:10 PM

The Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library is gearing up to turn the old Radio Shack building on Main Street—first constructed as a Ben Franklin in 1959, and later housing the Mathews Five and Dime—into a major addition to the library.

The group has had the architectural firm Hopke and Associates design a floor plan and exterior façade to create a youth wing with space for staff, additional bathrooms, and a computer and reading area for adults. It also recently signed a contract with Hopke "to go forward to the end," said president Maree Morgan last week.

The Friends purchased the building last year with donated funds and had enough money left over to pay for the design work. Now construction documents are being created that also include transforming a courtyard between the two buildings into interior space and handling any drainage issues.

The addition will give patrons and staff an extra 5,200 square feet, said Morgan, and will be named for the late Dr. H. Bland Hudgins. A committee has been established to oversee the work.