Greetings Dear Library Friends,
Things are shaping up with the renovations of your beloved library including a later estimated reopening date of May.
As I sit here looking out over the library, contractors from Wilson Flooring of Ogdensburg are laying out the carpeting for the new children’s library and circulation desk. The carpeting has been one of several expected delays during the course of the renovation, including a large delay at the start. “We didn’t start the construction right away, to begin with, due to a wait on approval for projects and being closed for the pandemic,” Library Director Annie Davey said. “Then we had a delay because of funding issues with NYS.”
During downtime in the renovation, library staff has been working staggered hours to box thousands of books and empty the shelves that were then broken down and cleared from the main floor. We also had help from Library Board Member David Trithart, Will Trithart and Lee VanDewater who moved a large number of books to the second floor.
Architect Rebecca Weld, founder of Renew Architecture & Design, said she was looking at May as a completion date for Phase I and Phase II of the project. The work of staff and volunteers will add some time after Phase II is completed, to get everything back in order. Phase III of the renovations will not interfere with the reopening and daily operations of the library. The project grants were conceptualized in phases however it was always anticipated that projects would dovetail as they are completed, so the timing does not completely correlate with the funding structure.
Phase I, which included erecting a mezzanine, is complete and was done by Continental Construction of Gouverneur. Part of Phase II is in progress and will involve floor/ceiling, lobby, relocating circulation desk, and air conditioning. The HVAC part of Phase II has been awarded to Cornerstone Services of Norwood and will be the longest part of the work. Phase III is all related to staff areas (offices, kitchen, etc.) and has not been bid yet.
The library will reopen after Phase II, again, pandemic aside, and Phase III will be primarily behind the scenes. Staff may be displaced temporarily but we plan to work around it.
Phase III is expected to begin immediately after Phase II, or possibly overlapping with it.
So, although we always knew there would be changes in timing, right from the get-go, Annie has repeated the priority: We have one chance to get this right; let’s not rush it.
“It’s kind of my life philosophy,” she said. “It’s true though. In cooking, in library work, just be the gardener and let things grow with their own life, don’t get in the way of the magic.”
We’re getting there, folks, and we look forward to having you back on this side of the PPL walls with us!
Your Adult Program Coordinator,
William “W.T.” Eckert