Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

January 18, 2014

Officials break ground on library expansion

RUSK — A long-waited dream of a bigger, improved facility became realized Friday with a ground breaking ceremony for a 5,700-square-foot expansion project at Singletary Memorial Library.

“This building is all about the community,” said library director Amy Derrington. “It says a lot to me for the city to get behind this project, saying 'Okay, let's do it.' They have a lot of confidence in our community, and compassion.”

Located behind the 6th Street library, the estimated $1.2 million project is under the direction of local builders Berry & Clay, and calls for for a small parking lot and new entrance facing Lone Oak Street, with the original building renovated into a multi-use community room.

“It'll fit the needs of the citizens of Rusk,” said construction manager Britt Patterson, describing a state-of-the-art facility.

Inclement weather notwithstanding, the project is scheduled to take approximately eight months, he said.

Once completed, “we'll have more rooms, more computers” to offer patrons, Derrington said, as well as, house a popular children's summer reading program.

“Citizens are very excited, they've been talking about this since 1973,” she said. “And we've had lots of donations already, we've taken in a little over $40,000 in donations alone.”

After Friday's ceremony, local resident Jeanie Swink, wife of Dr. Jim Swink, gave the library a donation toward the construction project on behalf of the couple. Derrington said their gifts will be used to sponsor the “Words of Wisdom” and “Tree of Knowledge” rooms in the new addition, which more than doubles the size of the existing 1,982-square-foot library, building in the early 1960s.

Mayor Angela Raiborn said the renovation was “very much needed” for the community, and when the city purchased the property adjoining the library lot back in the 1990s, they envisioned growth.

“We've outgrown the existing building – they've got 22,000 books crammed into a small area, and we've got big plans … (the expansion) will allow us to do that,” she said. “The public has been very excited about it.”

By keeping the project – funded through refinanced bonds – in the downtown area, “it helps keep our downtown vibrant and be centrally located is a very good plus to the project,” the mayor said.

Ground preparation will likely take the next two months to complete, Patterson said.

Meanwhile, residents continue to raise funds for the project. Monthly first Friday dances, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, are held at the local civic center, and a “Gone with the Wind” themed event is planned May 3 in a local historic home, Derrington said.

Text Only
Local News
  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014

  • 2014-2015 Jacksonville Leadership Institute opens enrollment

    What is Jacksonville Leadership Institute?
    Jacksonville Leadership Institute is a program through the Jacksonville, Texas Chamber of Commerce. A new class is formed each September.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jacksonville continues its mosquito spraying schedule

    The City of Jacksonville will continue implementing its summer mosquito spraying program next week by spraying areas 7 and 11.

    July 24, 2014

  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014