New walkway complete at Johann Fust Library

■ BY SUSAN ERWINLibrary Walk web

If you’ve stopped in to visit the Johann Fust Library lately, you might have wondered why there were orange construction cones lining the path between the media center and the children’s library.

A new, beautifully tiled walkway was being installed as part of a project funded by the 2012 campaign agreement between The Johann Fust Library Foundation and Lee County. The foundation maintains the upkeep of the library grounds, gardens and buildings as well as the fine collections of artifacts and rare books.

For the past several weeks, the media center and children’s library were only accessible through the side door along the west side of the library. Jon Bednerik, Executive Director of The Johann Fust Library Foundation, said the members of the organization tried to preserve the character and ambiance of the campus while planning the re-tiling project.

“Phase one started last spring when the old stepping stones were removed and a sidewalk was added,” he said. “The project will be complete when the new custom manufactured tiles are added with the idea of maintaining the character of what has now become a thoroughfare.”

The walkway required the upgrade as the original tiles were becoming unstable for people to walk across while carrying books and other library items. That’s when the foundation agreed to do the remodel. The goal was to compete the construction process before the fall book sale planned for November 16-18. The Johann Fust Library Foundation was officially formed on April 26, 2012.

After several years of planning, negotiating and renovating, the Board of Directors of the Johann Fust Library formed a partnership with Lee County and entered into a unique public/private relationship. As part of the agreement the Johann Fust Library Foundation’s Board of Directors raised more than $1.5 million dollars from the Boca Grande community to renovate the buildings and the grounds.

The Lee County Library System provides library staff who manage the print, audio visual and digital collections. They provide computer assistance, e-clinics, reference services and also present story time for children. The library has a new and improved website. For more information, visit jfcl.org.