“Basically, we’re going to spruce up the children’s area of the library by changing the ceiling tiles, painting the walls, putting new carpet down on the floor and buying some new shelving and furniture,” director Alex Juorio said.
The renovations have come as part of the priorities that the library board set out in its five-year strategic plan, with children’s services being considered highly important.
“We’ve been in the building coming up on 50 years, so it’s just time,” Juorio said. “We discovered as part of the 2010 strategic plan that the building is in good condition structurally.
“But some of the fixtures are a bit dated -- things like the sealed units, the windows are not up to our value,” he continued. “Some of the furnishing and fittings -- the carpeting in particular is just getting really worn out.”
Since determining the priorities, work plans have developed to update the building in a forward-looking way, Juorio said.
“The first part of the update was the air-conditioning upgrade that we installed last summer,” he said. “Now we’re moving on to the more visible pieces of the renovation.”
While it’s too early to tell how much the renovations will cost, the library is budgeting for approximately $200,000, with current projections being under budget.
Work for the current renovations is expected to last for a month to six weeks. Funding has come from payroll surpluses from the last several years.
“Operations (at the library) are business as usual as much as we can,” Juorio said. “We’ve cherry-picked some of the popular children’s materials, and we’ll have them available.
“Other materials are available via hold, and the collection will be in the building, just not accessible by the public,” he added. “We’ll be doing library programs, also as usual, from the basement at the library. I don’t think the public will notice the big hiccup.”
Juorio said the reasons for the renovations are two-fold.
“As part of the change in moving all services to one floor, we had to reorganize a bit and that’s one reason why we’re renovating,” Juorio said.
“Another reason for the renovation is, in 2010, we had a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) study done,” he added. “One of the principles of that is if you keep your facility looking nice and don’t let it get shabby, you won’t get vandalism and other problems occurring on the facility.”
With the city owning the building, project co-ordinator for community services Don Cheeseman was onsite today and will oversee the renovations.
“We’re helping them general that work. That ‘s our role,” he said. “We’re just making sure they comply with the OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) regulations and organizing everybody so that the project goes smoothly.”