Wind Creek in Atmore presented Gulf Shores middle school principal Kyle McCarthy with a check for $7,000 Sept. 8. The funds were used to remodel the school library. Students are enjoying a new collaborative space complete with Makerspace stations, new furniture and upgraded technology.
“The old library space was dark,” said Leticia Teal. As the school librarian she spent her days in the dark space. “The library is brighter and feels bigger and cleaner now that the carpet is gone. It’s wonderful and uplifting,” said Teal.
McCarthy utilized three grants totaling $15,000 to revitalize the library. The old dark carpet was replaced with laminate flooring, the walls were painted a lighter color and furniture was purchased to create a cozy seating area. A custom circulation desk was built by Back Water Furniture out of Lillian. It was custom made for the space using locally sourced lumber.
“We had another grant that came in last year from Dollar General and Republic has given us grants for STEM and broadcasting and English related items. We were able to buy computers, e-gaming stations, a 3d printer and some televisions to use for that. Brittany Seagle has written all the grants and I just use the money as she gets it. I put it to good work,” McCarthy said.
A broadcast studio was also added to the library by utilizing an old conference room. The school purchased 75% of the equipment last school year using a grant from Dollar General. The equipment was set up in a classroom but due to growth the space was needed for a science class this school year. The wall was painted green for green screen capabilities, televisions were mounted, computers added and now students have a dedicated tv studio for the broadcasting and journalism class.
McCarthy said he has seen an increase in the number of students using the library and talking to their friends about making time to go to the library.
“I have always felt the library should be the heart of a school,” said McCarthy.