The Rossville Public Library unveiled its newly renovated facility and a colorful new sculpture at the entrance of the building during its grand reopening May 14.
The new metal and glass mosaic sculpture stands 12 feet high and was commissioned from artist Chuck Peters of Cloudland, Ga. It arrived at the library on May 5.
Peters began working on the sculpture in January after having several meetings with the library's sculpture committee.
"During the concept development phase, it was the hope of the sculpture committee that the piece would represent the revitalization of the Rossville community," according to a news release from the Cherokee Regional Library System.
The sculpture was paid for in part by a Vibrant Communities grant from the Georgia Center for the Arts, and a donation from the Rossville Memorial Center Foundation matched the grant funds, according to the news release.
Carmella Clark, library manager, said children are invited to suggest names for the sculpture this summer.
Renovations on the library began in mid-September 2016 and were completed by the end of April. The library was closed for one week at the beginning and the end of the renovation to transport its contents to and from the Rossville Athletic Center, where it was open to the public during the seven-month renovation.
"We didn't have as many [books] as usual," Clark said. "Our space was small, and we had to store two-thirds of the collection. And we only had eight computers."
Now the library has 20 computers and four iPads. It also has three new study rooms.
To make room for new books, the library donated books that had not been checked out for five or more years. Now it has 35,000 books and movies in circulation.
Clark said the renovation cost a total of $480,000, much of which was paid for by state grant and a naming opportunity campaign, hosted by the Friends of Rossville Library, in which donors could name a room in honor of a loved one. The library also has a legacy tree on which people could have the names of their loved ones engraved on a leaf or an apple, depending on how much was donated. Small leaves were engraved for $100, large leaves for $300 and apples for $500.
Now that the renovated library is open, Clark said, she hopes it is "everything the community needs.
"We want it to be well used and well loved," she said.
Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at 423-757-6327 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @hughesrosana.