It has been nearly three decades since the Logansport-Cass County Public Library has had a facelift.
But on April 12, masonry restoration on the south side of the building started. Crews will be setting up scaffolding in order to provide a pedestrian walkway, Street Commissioner Tony Shanks told the Logansport Board of Public Works & Safety two weeks ago.
David Ivey, library director, explained that re-grouting, cleaning, repairing, and replacing of stones will take place over the next few months. Work is slated to wrap up around June 12th.
“Some of the original masonry details haven’t been touched from maybe the ‘50s or ‘60s,” Ivey said, adding that periodic work has been done over the last 20 years, but this will be the first major cleaning project since he’s been with the library. He joined nearly 15 years ago.
A three-man crew from Ziolkowski Construction, Inc., of South Bend, will be cleaning the limestone, grinding out the mortar joints, applying caulk, and applying a coat of natural stone treatment.
The west wall previously was restored with the east wall to be completed sometime this summer.
Ivey does not know what will be done to the alley-facing, north-side wall.
Having the board approve the work during National Library Week is a nice sentiment. Admitting it has been difficult to plan programs due to the pandemic, Ivey said he hopes the library will be back up to full capacity soon. Meeting rooms will remain closed throughout April. Limited children’s programs have been held outside, offering kids crafts and activities. But the usual children’s events have been halted due to COVID-related issues.
If the community continues to see a drop in the number of positive cases, Ivey said the library will slowly make its way to re-opening seven days a week.
So far, he’s anticipating offering story time and Lego club gatherings in May with a cap of 25 children, but no dates have been set yet. Meeting rooms also will be re-opened next month. He also would like to start up the summer reading program on the last day of school.
“It has been a while for organized programs,” he said, adding that everyone is anxious to get rolling again.
“People are beginning to trickle back in and as the weather gets nicer, more people will be here,” said Ivey. But the library won’t re-open on Sundays until the end of the month – providing all goes well and the pandemic subsides.
Ivey anticipates hiring additional employees for the Sunday rotation.
In other business:The board members approved Springcreek Landscaping & Nursery’s contract for 2021 maintenance of the five downtown pocket parks: northwest corner of Market and 4th streets along Market Street, north side of Market Street between 4th and 5th streets, north side of Market Street between 5th and 6th streets, north side of Broadway between 4th and 5th streets, and the eastside of 6th Street on the corner of North Street.
Downtown tree pruning will be completed by Craig Rennemann at a rate of $40 per hour, not to exceed $3,200. Payment will be made out of the Board of Works’ budget.
Denny’s Lawn Care also has been hired by the city to work on weeding, trimming, and replacing bushes. The $1,000 fee will be paid out of the Planning Department’s budget.