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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Main Library nearing completion

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Main Library ADA project is nearing its completion, much to the delight of everyone involved.

 

The project began on Jan. 2018 and it appears that it will be finished, completed, and ready to reopen at the end of April 2019 exactly 18 months after the Main Library closed.

 

The first slowdown took place due to the design and fabrication of the steel going into the building and some 6 weeks were lost waiting for that material, all USA-made.

 

The other general problem was that 2018 was the rainiest year in recent time, slowing the exterior work for much of the year.

 

I have been told that we should have put required timetables in the construction contact, but that doesn’t work as contractors increase their bids to cover any fines incurred; and any weather-related slowdowns or unavoidable delays can be documented and are forgiven.

 

Even though the building appears to be in a state of completion, there is still a lot of interior work to be performed by contractors and library staff before reopening to the public.

 

Both the contractor and library have a lot of cleaning that must be done to make the buildings ready for reopening.

 

Computer systems must be installed, as well as the new routers and switches needed to operate some 30 computers in the facility, as well as Wi-Fi to allow the public to utilize the Internet with their own devices.

 

New fiber optic service will bring the library to the state communications network and the Ohio Public Library Information Network.

 

Seven telephone lines will enter the building to link to the public as well as the other branch libraries in the county and the elevator which will communicate with the outside world.

 

The lower level of the Carnegie building has been completely renovated which was a challenge when the ceilings and some walls were removed to many surprises as we were renovating all utilities, since the new building receives all of its systems through the old building.

 

The steam radiators will continue to heat the Carnegie building, but everything else consists of brand new HVAC system controlled and regulated by a computer network to maximize consumption of electricity and natural gas.

 

A new fire alarm system is being added to the Carnegie building to interact with the new systems in the new building.

 

Flooring is now being installed everywhere, except the 1st floor of the Carnegie building which is having its 1902 marble floor renovated and refinished.

 

All of the new lighting is LED fixtures controlled by a central system, the lights on the 1st floor of the Carnegie building are already LED, leaving only one area of electronic fluorescent lighting.

 

The lower level will be all staff work areas serving the branch libraries in the county, with lost spaces recovered by a central corridor and separation from the public areas.

 

The street level in the new building will be the new entrance, meeting room, and reading area with Wi-Fi; as well as a public service desk and access to all levels with new stairways and elevator.

 

The bookmobile offices and garage complete the street level which are closed to public access.

 

The 1st floor of the Carnegie building is unchanged, the 2nd floor of the new building house reference, public computers, restrooms, and the children’s library.

 

I think the centerpiece of the complex is the 2-story atrium where the Carnegie building joins the new building showing off the back wall with the murals from the former children’s library.

 

I will admit to being a little sad that for 18 months, 5 of us have been working in the library complex and in a short time we will have to share this fabulous building with everyone again --- and we are hoping you love it!