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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Students happy with library

Monday, November 27, 2006

Seth Baker, an 11th grade student, works on an assignment in the loft of the Sikeston Senior High School library.
SIKESTON -- Sikeston Senior High School junior Cody Anderson said one of his first thoughts upon entering the newly renovated library media center was of bookstore Barnes and Noble.

"Now it just needs a Starbucks," Anderson said.

Finishing touches were put on the completely renovated facility Nov. 14 with students able to access the center the following day.

Anderson said the new media center is much better than its predecessor and is very much improved.

"I didn't like coming here at first (before the renovation). This is more relaxed and a better atmosphere. The furniture is better and the music, too," Anderson said, referring to the instrumental music playing in the background.

Senior Terika Morris is upset she will only get to use the facility for the remainder of the year. "They made it so pretty and now I don't get to use it," Morris said.

Like Anderson, Morris is very pleased with the new look.

"It makes me actually want to come here and read a book," Morris said while using a computer in the center.

It's comments like these that high school library media specialist Libby Caskey was hoping for when the project began last spring.

"This came together better than I had dreamed. It's been a truly collaborative effort," said Caskey, who is also the district chair of library media services.

The renovation included the installation of a new ceiling for a new heating and air conditioning system, and the project also involved the reallocation of space, Caskey said.

"What we did was relocate our storage and that opened up the library floor for better usage," Caskey said.

Caskey said following the renovation, she was able to divide the collection into nonfiction, reference and fiction areas.

Work on the project began in mid-April when Caskey and her library staff began packing up books to move. From about mid-May until project completion, the library was based out of the girls gym facilities.

Sikeston R-6's maintenance department worked all summer and into the new school year to finish the project. The district's crew took care of the majority of work although a few outside contractors were involved to expedite project, Caskey said.

"I just cannot speak favorably enough about the job they did," Caskey said about the maintenance crew.

Mike Brown, Sikeston R-6 director of building and grounds, said it was a challenging job but the crew enjoyed it.

"We redid all of the electrical and lighting and suspended the ceiling because areas of the ceiling were falling down before," Brown said. "We came in and wrapped all of the steel beams with oak to give it a classic look."

In addition to a few hard-wired computers, the new media center also has six laptop computers for students to use within the library.

"They can go to any point in the room and use the laptops," Caskey said.

Workers hooked up the new data wiring and installed the wireless computer access, Brown said. They built new book shelving and elevated reading areas, or lofts, located in two corners of the facility. They also wired the facility for surround sound to have a complete video and audio center.

"It was a worthwhile project," Brown said. "All of our crews -- we enjoyed doing it. It was a challenge and we looked forward to accomplishing it."

Members of the public who would like to catch a glimpse of the new media center can attend an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10.

Caskey, who postponed her retirement to see the project to the end, called the experience a very gratifying one and something for which the community will be pleased.

She said: "When we were doing this, I felt like we were transforming a mid

-20th century library into a 21st century media center."