$600,000 project to begin soon for library in Girard

GIRARD — Pam Saganich, who has served as the director of the Girard Free Library for the past three years, has seen improvements and upgrades at the library over the years, but a $600,000 project set for this summer will be the biggest project to date.

The library’s board of directors recently approved Murphy Contractors for the work by a 9-0 vote.

“The project is a restoration of the central parts of this building and will help with energy efficiency. This is a major project we are doing,” she said.

Saganich said the entire roof, the edges around the roof, mechanical work — including the HVAC system — and single-pane windows in the community room and children’s story room will be replaced.

Saganich said the project will help address drainage off the roof, noting that other windows and the skylight were already replaced in 2021. Saganich said since the building was first constructed, there have only been two major additions.

The library will remain open while the work is being completed. Saganich said there may be a few noisy days when contractors are working and removing windows.

The project was discussed last year after the original restrooms were updated in 2022.

“The board and I have been trying every year to address the actual structure of the building and see what needs to be done and upgraded,” she said. “We have discussed different options for the work on the roof.”

Saganich said once the windows and HVAC are done, there will not be any other major projects.

Library Board President Meghan Griffith Ragozzino, who has served 15 years on the board, including two as board president, said it is important to keep the library building in good condition for the future.

“This library is a gem in our community and we want to keep it for many, many years,” Ragozzino said

She said she remembers her parents bringing her to the library and how she and other board members brought their children to the library.

“We are excited to soon get the project started,’ she said.

Strollo Architects has worked with the library on project designs.

Over the years, there have been additions to the east side and south side of the building and a garage. The library has been located on East Prospect Street since it was constructed in 1973.

The library is located in a residential neighborhood and its style of mid-century architecture makes the building attractive, allowing for a lot of natural light to come in.

“The natural light in the building, the accessibility and being in the neighborhood are what makes the library ideal,” she said.


The original Girard Free Library was opened in May 1920 in a room on the second floor of the Girard city building. It was moved to the new city building in June 1938.

In the mid-’60s, the need for a new building to house the growing collection of 46,000 volumes was apparent. In 1967, the board purchased property at 105 E. Prospect St. The library received $100,000 in federal funds in 1971, and construction began in 1972.

The new building was completed in June 1973 and dedicated on Sept. 20 of that year.

In 1977, the board purchased land next to the library for a 3,300-square-foot addition that was officially dedicated in November 1980.

In the 1990s, an addition of more than 2,500-square feet was built as part of a redesign of the interior with a room dedicated for children’s storytime and glass walls. The parking lot also was expanded.

Have an interesting story? Contact Bob Coupland by email at bcoupland@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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