New $135,000 FHS library to welcome 2020-21 students

  • Farragut High School students Kat Ferguson, left, and Samantha Garcia enjoyed the library exercise bicycles as part of the now nearly completed renovations ($135.000), thanks primarily to fundraising by the school’s Library Committee and Education Foundation. - Photo courtesy of FHS librarian Emily Swearingen

  • Shannon Exum, left, Farragut High School Health science teacher, and Ryan Milani, assistant principal for the Class of 2022, tokk a break Wednesday, May 20, on a brand-new high-top desk in the school’s library (also seen below), which was just one small part of a $135,000 library renovation. - Photo courtesy of FHS librarian Emily Swearingen

  • New library layout - Photo courtesy of FHS librarian Emily Swearingen

When students return to Farragut High School — hopefully this fall, although no official announcement has been made — they will see a brand new library thanks to a $135,000 face-lift.

At least three years of fundraising efforts led to the refurbishing, which not only includes replacing tables and chairs from the 1980s, but also provides some exercise equipment and a new sound system.

While a recent-years fundraising Gala was presented by FHS Library Committee, additional funds have been raised over the last several years by FHS Education Foundation. Donations also were received from Faith Promise Church and the Pilot Foundation.

The furniture started being delivered in the weeks before spring break, and since the COVID-19 shutdown, the library has been transformed. New couches — some of which are built into the wall — and new chairs will give students comfortable places to study or even quietly socialize. High-top desk areas, study carols, and both elongated and traditionally sized tables — some featuring built-in lighting options — will provide many opportunities for students to focus on school work.

FHS principal Dr. John Bartlett, who oversaw a similar transformation at Bearden High School’s library during his almost decade-long tenure there, said, “We wanted to break it up, so it will feel like three separate spaces.

“We wanted to be able to have flexibility in what we are able to have in the library, including common spaces, areas for testing, and even resource space the staff could use,” he added.

A new new built-in sound system “gives us a place to meet that does not echo like the Commons, and looks professional for our outside guests,” Education Foundation member Holly Barrett said.

As for the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, it “mainly focuses on the everyday needs in the classroom, including new technology, assisting student organizations geared towards expanding their education, and assisting teachers in attending conferences when other funds aren’t available,” Barrett said.