Local News

September 16, 2009

Library moves forward with renovation

Contracts to be awarded next month

The Logansport-Cass County Public Library board of directors approved Tuesday to move forward with current design plans to renovate the library.

The drawings approved by the board will maintain the library’s current elevator and remove its main staircase at the entryway of the building.

Plans to remove the staircase and other features had been a topic of some controversy, but no one turned out Tuesday to protest the decision.

Board members initially wanted to add a second elevator, or expand the existing one, because of its small size. Due to architectural complications, though, they agreed to keep the current elevator as is.

“Unfortunately, there is no good resolution for the elevator,” library director Dave Ivey said. “But it does safely transport people from the first floor to the second. It is adequate and legal, and meets ADA regulations.”

Ivey said the shaft of the 10-year-old elevator was smaller and more shallow than most, and does not allow for expansion, because wires from the hydraulic system already take up any free space.

The board discussed whether the elevator might see a significant increase of usage once the main staircase is removed, but Ivey said the majority of foot traffic would be concentrated to the first floor after renovations were completed.

“We will be moving all of the media to the first floor, and that accounts for 60 percent of our checkouts,” he said. “We will have one main checkout center on the first floor as well.”

Board member Jon Myers said he believed the elevator was sufficient for those who needed to use it. He said many historical buildings such as the library or courthouse do not have large elevators, and the one existing in the library is adequate.

Other interior changes include new carpet upstairs, restrooms on the second floor and reconfiguration of shelves.

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