November 27, 2015

Library Construction Update: New and Renovated Buildings, 11/23/12

The Reading Public Library, MA, is now closer to its renovation and expansion project with the influx of $5.1 million from the state toward the total $12 million cost. Along with an 8,000 square foot addition, the library will undergo “major structural repairs and substantial renovations.”  These enhancements are based on a study commissioned in 2010 to consider the library’s needs. A special town meeting is next on the docket in order to approve a debt exclusion to cover Reading’s financial participation, according to the Reading–North Reading Patch. Citizens would be charged $100 annually for ten years following approval of the April 2 vote. If voters are on board, construction would begin in fall or winter of 2013.

October 20 marked the end of a $1 million renovation of the Bishops Corner Branch of West Hartford Public Library, CT. The ten-month project reconfigured the layout of the building, added accessibility features, replaced floors and windows, upgraded the HVAC system, and incorporated high-efficiency lighting, per the Courant. In an effort to make better use of space, an unused back door was eliminated and replaced with additional shelving; the circulation desk was moved to inside the entryway. Funding for the project came from the town of West Hartford, along with a $153,333 state construction grant and $75,000 from the West Hartford Library Foundation.

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has gained approval for the renovation of the William L. Clements Library, along with a $6 million donation from the Avenir Foundation. The Clements Library has holdings of great interest to historians, with books, graphics/photographs, maps, and manuscripts dating from the time of Christopher Columbus through the 19th century. The 90-year-old library, designed by architect ­Albert Kahn and built in 1923, will use the Avenir gift to upgrade the facility’s infrastructure and enlarge the space for collections as part of the $16.8 million plan; the remainder of the support will be provided by the university and its Board of Governors. The firm of SmithGroupJJR is behind the new design, which will include a restored entrance, increased seating capacity, and an 8,500 square foot underground storage annex.

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 43rd year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ’s Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews.

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