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March 16, 2010

Library renovations continue

Despite construction, circulation is still growing

Library director David Ivey told board members Tuesday the building’s major renovation project is going well.

Crews from Commercial Contracting Inc. of Fort Wayne have been working on an $800,000 project to upgrade the library.

They have removed old shelving and are working to install steel structures to support the building.

Ivey said the crews have been finishing the installation of heating and cooling units in what will be a new computer lab and magazine and reading area upstairs this week. Workers are expected to begin drywalling the area this week.

The director said the first phase of steel work should begin this week.

“From a customer stand point, they will probably notice the vestibule wall and second set of doors of the main entrance has been removed,” Ivey said. “They will be putting up a newly configured vestibule in six weeks or so.”

Despite the construction, Ivey said circulation has been “pretty consistent.” Figures are running at 1 or 2 percent above circulation figures at this time last year. The increase in circulation has slowed, some, though.

“With the hassles of construction, it doesn’t surprise me that it’s not as high of an increase as we had been seeing,” he said. “But the good news is it didn’t decrease. Hopefully after construction, it will be on an upward trend again.”

Ivey said workers hope to begin exterior work, like creating parking lot space, in the next week or so. The crews will also be demolishing the first-floor concrete floor and re-pouring it.

The board of trustees discussed ordering furniture for the library.

The building’s main staircase is to be removed in six to eight weeks.

Ivey said he expects final completion for the project will be at the end of July or early August.

• Jennifer Tangeman is a reporter for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or jennifer.tangeman@pharostribune.com.

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