Council to discuss $300,000 in potential library improvements

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.