McDONALD (KDKA) — When we last visited with the folks at the Heritage Public Library in McDonald, Washington County, winter was coming and the shingles on the building’s roof were a shambles.
“We’re in a crisis mode. We need to put on a roof,” Library Director Jen Swearman said at the time.
For the past year, the community has been raising money, everything from larger pledges to pocket change. They had enough for materials, but only $3,000 left for labor. They were desperately looking for a book-loving roofer with a big heart.
They found their knight in shining armor in Mike Tasz. He and Tyler Hughes began replacing the roof on Monday.
“I’d hate to see something happen to the building, get damaged,” says Tasz.
“I almost cried when I came into the parking lot. I almost cried because it was finally a sense of relief,” said Swearman.
The rat-a-tat of Tasz’s nail gun is music to the ears of librarians.
“I said, I’d be sorry for the noise, but I’m really not sorry,” Swearman says.
Tasz grew up in McDonald, graduated from Duquesne University in marketing, and started Tasz Construction. It’s been good, and this project is a chance to give back.
“We figured; see how we can help out,” he said.
As part of the deal, Swearman says, “We’ve been trying to keep him fed, and his guys fed.”
KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson: “So, you decided to work for pizza?”
Tasz: “Pizza, some hot sausage – we had Monday, yesterday was chili!”
The books and computers are safe again, and the library is once again ready to shelter the Lego Club, Science Rocks, holiday parties and more. It’s the heart of the community.
“Now it’s coming to an end, and it’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” says Swearman.
Jackson: “It’s a happy ending?”
Swearman: “Absolutely! Yes!”
Since our story first aired, many other generous patrons and local businesses have also stepped up to the plate.
Among them, Range Resources and Allied Waste Management donated the dumpster for the roofing. The McDonald Giant Eagle donated money to the cause, as well as CentiMark in Canonsburg.