SHERIDAN (WNE) — It’s been nearly three years since the community of Story first started a major fundraising push for a 40-by-45-foot expansion of the Story Branch Library.

But there is still fundraising work to be done, according to Story Community Library Inc. board chair Marc Strahn. The construction project once scheduled for this summer has been pushed back to 2022, as prices for basic building materials like lumber and steel have spiked due to increased demand.

The library expansion will provide space for an expanded meeting room, more computer access and an expanded children’s area.

“The problem we’re running into is that the current construction costs have exceeded our previous estimates,” Strahn said. “When we started this project in 2018, we were looking at needing to raise $450,000 to $475,000. Right now, it’s creeping up closer to $550,000 or $600,000.”

The board voted last month to delay the project a year with hope that construction costs will decline, Strahn said. The delay also gives the community time for continued fundraising efforts.

“We decided we couldn’t start the building process right now because we don’t want to leave the library in disarray for a couple of years as we wait for funds to come in,” Strahn said. “We need the project to be fully funded or close to fully funded before we start. It’s kind of an all-or-nothing thing at this point.”

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