County library to add sidewalk

GREENFIELD — When the cost to pave the Hancock County Public Library parking lot came in at $62,000, some $8,000 under the expected cost, officials with the library knew what to do with the extra money right away.

In an effort to make the library more accessible for pedestrians, they decided to add a sidewalk on the north side of the building by the back entrance along North Franklin Street.

The new sidewalk is expected to create a safer path for students from the nearby Greenfield Central Junior High School. It also will give members of the library staff a better place to walk during lunch breaks, library officials said.

Costs for adding the new sidewalk along the back driveway are estimated at nearly $11,000. There also will be an additional $1,600 needed for landscaping. Library officials said the landscaping costs are needed to level the area and reseed it.

Library Director Dave Gray received quotes from two companies for the project. The lower bid for the sidewalk came back estimated at $10,827.

JS Concrete, a Knightstown-based company that specializes in custom sidewalks, will take on the project.

The project includes a walkway that will go east from North Franklin Street behind the library. It will include three 12-by-12 concrete slabs where picnic tables could be placed in the future.

The work on the grounds behind the building will allow library officials to use the area more for outdoor programming, officials said.

“I think this is money well spent,” said Gray, adding work will begin soon on the project.

Assistant library director Barbara Roark said she looks forward to the safety aspect of the new sidewalk. She and other members of the library staff are part of a walking group that exercises in the area.

“When you do walk on the driveway, you do have to dodge cars, and they are not always paying attention,” she said.

While there is already a sidewalk surrounding most of the library, including on the east side of North Franklin Street, bringing the sidewalk along the back driveway area makes the path complete, library officials said.

Having a sidewalk installed behind the library means pedestrians will have a safe path to and from the building regardless which way they come from.

“We have had some safety concerns about people walking along the back drive with the car traffic.” Gray said. “This will eliminate that issue and make the property more walkable.”

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.