MECHANICSBURG – The Mechanicsburg Public Library is planning the next phase of renovations following the exterior improvements that began in October 2012. Library Executive director Tammie Beers said she hopes to have new carpeting and lighting installed this spring. She said sections of the library may close temporarily.
IAP Government Services Group Inc. will be the project manager and already has worked with at least four subcontractors, according to Beers. This was the same organization that managed last October’s sidewalk improvements, making slight changes to the grade and angle of the front walkway and bringing it into compliance with ADA regulations.
At that time, IAP also installed hardware to make the front door automatic, but that has not yet been hooked up to electricity. When complete, the front door is designed to open with the push of a button.
“The board looked at options, and they looked at cost, and they looked at what can we do,” Beers said. “We also did a community survey and meetings to try to establish priorities: what do people really want from us the most? We can’t do everything because we don’t have the resources, so which things are most important to the community, and what things are most important to the mission – what we do? So they looked at some of the things and said that’s really beyond our means right now. And then they looked at some of the most urgent issues, and unfortunately the deterioration of the sidewalk really bumped it up in the priorities because it just started crumbling and it really was a safety hazard and a barrier for people to get into the library. The same with the door, they were getting very old and bulky and difficult to work with, and so we wanted them to be a lot easier for people to get into the library.”
At the same time, contractors replaced two of the three heating and air conditioning units installed in the ‘90s. Beers said they were just now getting ready to calibrate the air conditioning because it couldn’t be done in cold weather.
Beers said the focus now turns to interior renovation, first the installation of new lighting. She said book shelves at the front of the library originally intended to run parallel to the lights will be moved and re-shelved by librarians.
“They have found that this kind of florescent lighting can be harmful in that people who are susceptible it might trigger migraines or epilepsy, and so the new LED is much friendlier in that sense to not have that problem,” she said. “It also, hopefully, uses less energy and so that saves us money in the long run.”
The library will also get new carpeting, including a variety in the entryway that works as an entry mat to collect dirt and is easier to sweep.
Finally, a new LED sign will be installed in front of the wooden sign outside the library. Beers said the sign is similar to the sign in front of the school and will display hours of service and upcoming activities.
“Our wish list is long, but we’re looking for resources to do it,” said Beers. “The money that was used was set aside every year for capital improvements for the building. It took awhile to save up. We hope that it makes (the library) accessible to people who maybe hesitated because it was so difficult to get through the doors. It was unfortunately a barrier, and so hopefully it will make it easier for people who have been coming and an option for people who haven’t been coming before.”
The Mechanicsburg Public Library is located at 60 S. Main St. For more information, call the library at 937-834-2004.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304