Mitch Cox Construction began renovation of the Kingsport Library in April of this year to add 1,200 square feet to the patronage area. Construction is expected to finish on the last day of July, according to Jeremiah Trowbridge, superintendent at Mitch Cox Construction.

MCC’s marketing team circled up with Hannah Powell, interim director of the Kingsport Library, who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the significance of the project.

Mitch Cox Companies: The Kingsport Library is a pillar to the Model City. Any stories, numbers, or interesting facts you could share?

Hannah Powell: The Library was created in 1921 by the Kingsport Book Club. In 1961, the library moved into what was formerly the post office (built in 1925 and renovated for the library). It expanded the children’s area in 1986 and added an auditorium and stack area over the auditorium in 1993. The city has been working toward a major renovation of the library for over 10 years. Last year the children’s area was renovated. This year it is the teen area, and the goal is to have final renovations done in 2022. The library itself averages 500-700 visitors each day and we have programs for adults and children throughout the year. The current Summer Reading Program attracts many children who have enjoyed seeing the paintings on the construction wall. We had local mural artist Alex Glymp paint some library related scenes on the wall, and it has been well-received by patrons.

(View Glymp’s creative wall murals here)

MCC: Why did the Kingsport library undergo the renovation? What will the renovation enable the library to do that it couldn’t do before?

HP: The Library is expanding the main floor into the colonnade, adding more space for the current Teen area. There will also be a new meeting/study room, that is desperately needed since we have nothing like that on the main floor. Patrons of the library will be able to reserve the room for meetings. In addition, there will be several new tables for patrons to sit and study by the new windows that face the park.

MCC: What are you looking forward to most when the renovation is complete?

HP: I’m looking forward to a brighter library: brighter with new large windows, more space, and brighter cleaner updates. The library building itself is quite old, having been built in 1925, and though we love the location and character of this old building, we need to make sure it fits the needs of our patrons and staff. Renovations like these allow us to provide more of what the community wants in their library and their public buildings.