Council to discuss $300,000 in potential library improvements

June 10, 2016 By:Jesus Acevedo Jr.

City Council


West University Library, built in 1963 has never had a major renovation, according to available city records. At Monday’s City Council meeting, the discussion will be about the possible $300,000 improvements that could come to the 53-year-old building.

The 2016 Budget appropriated $300,000 to remedy life/safety deficiencies in the West U Library. According to city documents, the following items were identified while performing a walk through with an architect and the city’s fire marshall.

  • Install a second floor fire escape
  • Replace handrails with guardrails
  • Install a fire alarm system
  • Install a sprinkler system
  • Replace the two existing restrooms with ADA Compliant Restrooms
  • Install Panic Hardware on doors
  • Install exit signs

It is estimated that the work will have impact on the usable square footage for library services. For example, enlarging the restrooms will require approximately 100-125 square feet from the main areas. The $300,000 in possible improvements were estimated with the following assumptions.

  • Library District services would not impede the construction of the improvements. There would be frequent closures as required or possible complete suspension of services during the work.
  • The Library District would be not be responsible for their costs associated with relocating their shelves, books and staff.
  • If services were to remain in operation, there would be no bathroom available in the building during the work.

Additionally, if the funding allows, the city would consider cosmetics renovations, like painting and carpeting.

The city’s Facilities Master Plan Task Force is recommending that West U:

“Complete the library improvements as budgeted in the 2016 Budget in the near term, which would allow the city enough time to properly solicit public feedback concerning the future use of the Library, Community Center and Senior Center.”

Improvements to the 5,564 square-foot-facility are just around the corner and Monday’s discussion is the first step to the makeover.

6 Responses to “Council to discuss $300,000 in potential library improvements”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This council is too cheap! They ignore the needs of the disabled. Push bars on doors? Wheelchair bound disabled need automatic doors for the handicapped. Reilly knows this need! Why does this leadership only give “gold standard” to non-tax payers? One more year til we vote these non-transparent, selfish, unintelligent, non-compassionate, argumentative, lazy bullies out of office.

    • Brokelyn Says:

      Why are you crying and screaming? Have you ever considered simply stating your opinion and, god-forbid, attending a meeting at which you can advise Council?

      People, pull it together. What’s with the hair-trigger hatred? Yeah, I have no love for certain members of this Council, but try focusing your bile rather than spewing it all over any mention of Council.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Too many citizens do not have a voice in this city. I am told they feel bullied. A woman told me she was threatened by police for simply trying to ask a question. Another citizen voiced his frustration to me saying council ignores citizen concerns. Instead of discouraging citizen input, I welcome opinions from others. I hope that citizens who are too intimidated to speak, will be able to vote against oppressive leadership.

  2. David Says:

    Do it!

    fyi George, your catch codes are a pain in the ass!

  3. David Says:

    Do it!

  4. Brokelyn Says:

    I would love to see a larger facility, perhaps combined with or swapped with the Senior Center, but realize that it would be a much larger cost that might be difficult to convince taxpayers to foot. Our library gets good utilization and provides a high quality and all-inclusive service to citizens. Despite what one might think about the “demise” of books, I’ve see many, many library renovations and expansions across the country in nice neighborhoods like ours and utilization always goes up, the breadth of services expands, and citizens are proud of their resource.

    All that said, $300k for the scope of work described here sounds like money very well spent. Considering how much (or little) we get for the money spent on our parks projects each year, the $300k almost looks like a bargain! (not trying to put down the Parks — just highlighting the value of the proposed library project).

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