Boyden Library's renovation project is on schedule to meet its target reopening date of late spring 2013, according to the library's director, Jerry Cirillo.
"The project is pretty much on schedule – a few areas are slightly behind while others are ahead of schedule but the overall project is on schedule and on budget,” Cirillo said.
The library, which is currently operating at Chestnut Green, plans to reopen at its renovated Bird Street location in May or June.
In the meantime, Cirillo said construction is coming along and the original Bird Street building has "undergone selective interior demolition and asbestos removal and all mechanical components – HVAC, lighting, elevator, and plumbing – have been removed."
Mechanical systems are now "mostly in place," according to Cirillo and both interior and exterior wall framing is nearly complete.
Cirillo said rough-in of new MEP systems – mechanical, electrical, plumbing – is ongoing and metal framing of new public and staff spaces is in process. Furthermore, the original elevator shaft is now being used as a chase for HVAC ducts and electrical conduit.
As for the roof, Cirillo says both the original building and addition have been re-roofed, "with only edge details and the transition between the two buildings remaining to be done."
Other work that has been completed as part of the renovation project includes:
- "Metal stair pans have been installed for both the main staircase and the emergency egress stairs, and the masons are constructing the field stone walls at the former Bird Street entrance before moving on to the base of the main staircase," Cirillo said. "All concrete slab floors have been poured, with radiant heating tubes installed in the floor of the first level of the addition. Considerable attention has been paid to improving site drainage."
- "Building sheathing is being applied and soon will be waterproofed," said Cirillo.
The project's priorities in the coming weeks include completing the remaining roof details, finishing the sheathing, and starting work on the glass curtain wall and exterior building siding to make the entire structure weather-tight.
"Once the building envelope is complete, work can commence on the interior," Cirillo said.
Once the project is complete and patrons return to the Bird Street location, Cirillo is confident library goers will enjoy the improvements.
"The sheer amount of increased physical space will likely be the first thing noticed by visitors to the new library – and while it may not be so dramatically noticeable we think patron physical comfort will be significantly improved in the new building," Cirillo said.
Included in the renovation project are new heating and cooling systems, improved ventilation, thermally-efficient windows, and better lighting, which according to Cirillo "will make each library visit much more comfortable."
Patrons will also see new books; video and audio materials and the Adult Circulation desk will greet the library visitor at the main entrance on the ground floor.
There will also be a new, oversized elevator.
"[Elevator is] big enough to accommodate strollers, wheelchairs, several adults and many children," Cirillo said. "[Elevator] will take library visitors to the public computers, Reference Desk, and Adult Department collections on the main floor, make a quick stop at the former Mezzanine Level for the library Administrative Offices and then continue on to the glass-walled children’s room at the very top of the addition."
Other library features patrons will be sure to enjoy are the additions of more than 30 public-access computers, public meeting rooms with hi-tech presentation equipment, the children’s department's new Story & Craft Room and a dedicated space for young adults.
The new Boyden Library will also have three self-checkout stations where library patrons may checkout, return, reserve and renew materials, according to Cirillo. It will also have a drive-up book return in the parking area, and plenty of comfortable seating and study areas.
For Cirillo and the library's staff, it's all about bringing a 21st Century library to a 21st Century space.
"We are looking forward to RFID technology for both materials circulation and materials security," Cirillo said. "With a RFID system, all library materials are tagged with a radio frequency transmitter tag and this signal is instantly captured at both circulation and discharge of book, audio, and visual items. ... [The new Boyden Library will also be] LEED certified – a 'green' building – patron-oriented, elegantly designed, and a true community resource for years to come."