Local News

Former library preserved, turned into living space

The former Deshler Public Library has gone through a transformation and owners, Jon and Jamie Yoachim, will host an open house August 11 from 4 to 8 p.m., as the Thayer County Fair officially begins. 

The Yoachims have five children and travel to Deshler two to three times a year from Broomfield, Colo., to visit family in Deshler and the surrounding area. 

Jon Yoachim said he has always wanted to own a building like the former library and convert it into a residential space. 

He inquired if the city would be interested in selling the library last year and after fulfilling its public requirements, the city received a bid from Yoachim. 

“I was the only bid. Luckily, I got it,” Yoachim said. He went to work with local company in Deshler, RF Construction. 

“We took the upper level from an open space and converted it into four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen, living room and dining room area,” Yoachim said. “They’re just putting the finishing touches on construction.”

Russ Fangmeyer of RF Construction said quite a few people have stopped by out of curiosity.  

Fangmeyer walked up the two flights of refaced stairs from the lower level, which is an open entertainment and social events area. Yoachim is planning to add a 75-inch television and suggested the space be used for Husker game or birthday parties. 

“My goal is to be as multi-purpose as possible,” Yoachim said. 

He said the lower level could eventually be used for offices or a rented living space. 

“We’ve kicked around the idea of helping folks start their own business, but for right now, the open space works for family,” Yoachim said.

Fangmeyer said the upper level has new walls and a new ceiling. They added a complete kitchen in front of the east windows, which are the originals. The kitchen shares a space with the living and dining areas, and the flooring is also new. Neutral colors blend into the bath with a shower and step-up laundry area and throughout the four bedrooms with closets in each one and a master-type bedroom with a full bath. New windows were also installed.   

At the end of the hallway facing west, a door waits to open to an outside deck under construction.  

Yoachim plans on renting the space and he’s had inquiries, but the spirit of the project was really about preserving the building and its architecture, and creating a useful living space that serves his family and the community.

The Yoachims will return to Deshler before the open house and are interested in seeing old photographs and learning the history of the building.