February 17, 2018

Library Construction Update: New and Renovated Buildings, 7/6/12

The official dedication of the William Jeanes Memorial Library and Nicholas and ­Athena Karabots Center for Learning, Lafayette Hill, PA, took place on May 23. Through a $4.4 million contribution from Whitemarsh Township residents the ­Karabotses, plus a $1.2 million capital campaign, the 1971 building was remodeled and expanded from 7000 square feet to 18,000 square feet. The two-story addition includes the children’s space and a community room. The library is now open and light-filled and houses a 41,000-volume collection. Designed by CICADA Architecture/Planning, Inc., the library has all new mechanical and heating systems, upgraded plumbing, a new roof and windows, and a new elevator.

Following a whirlwind makeover that began in April, the Vail Public Library, CO, which opened last week, now features new book stacks and interior lighting upgrades, a new technology center, a fresh multipurpose service desk, and a remodeled community room. Also, offices and storage space are being added to the lower level, which will connect to the ground floor by an enclosed stairway and elevator. Architects Snowdon and Hopkins, PC, are working with contractor Evan Chaffee Construction Group Inc. The entire project, funded through 2010 bonds, is expected to be completed by ­September.

The Lake County Public Library, Merrillville, IN, has two ongoing building projects to please residents. The 1967 8,811 square foot Griffith branch is being replaced by a 15,000 square foot library sporting a limestone exterior. Designed by Carras-Szany-Kuhn and Associates, PC, the new library will have a dedicated meeting space and children’s area, plus more room for collections and computers. A grand opening is expected later this year. Meanwhile, the 100,000 square foot Central Library is undergoing a $10 million expansion and renovation, with energy efficiencies part of the plan as well. This nearly 18-month-long project includes the addition of a handicapped-accessible entrance, more meeting spaces, and a drive-through book drop, per Sun-Times Media.

Fundraising in the clutch. The renovation/­expansion of the Holyoke Public Library, MA (see Hotline, 6/27/11), accelerated with a creative donor idea. Gary Rome Hyundai is raffling off at $10 per ticket a three-year lease on a 2012 Hyundai Elantra, with the winner to be drawn in December. The library must raise $2.5 million of the total $14.5 million project cost and expects to bring in about $40,000 from the car partnership.


Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 46th 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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