Friday, February 22, 2013

Construction Progress!

Much progress is being made at the Library construction site. Friends President Christine Alger took a tour in January and gave an enthusiastic report at the Friends Board meeting on February 13. Board members Connie Kennedy and Sandy Ward joined a tour on February 19 and captured these photos.

Tom Ryan of D.A. Sullivan & Sons (the Owners Project Managers, or O.P.M., for this huge construction project) led each tour.  Library Director María Pagán helped explain what would be where in the finished library.

Two spaces of particular interest to the Friends are now visible. The Children's Story-Telling Area, for which the Friends have pledged $100,000, is now well-defined on the second floor of the addition.

Here is the view from inside the Story-Telling area.

The wall outside the Story-Telling area was being painted as we walked by. It is at the south end of the very large new Children's Room. This photo illustrates a point made by our tour guide on February 19: the project now includes a mix of rough construction and fine finishing, a variety of different types of work going on simultaneously.

Connie in the Friends office space

We were delighted to see the room that will become the Friends office. The Friends organization will at last have a real place to store files, work on projects, and have meetings of committees or small groups.

Our room is in the basement, or "Lower Level," which has been remarkably transformed from the odd mix of different levels and spaces that used to be under the 1902 building. This Lower Level also includes library staff work areas, the Director's Office, and a large room for compact shelving to hold archival collections.

In the photo at left, Sandy is standing on the 1902 main floor level near where new stairways (connecting all levels, old and new) will be constructed. Behind her is the Children's Room (above) and new main floor/entrance area (below).

Because the Library's new entrance faces Chestnut Street, a new address has been assigned: 250 Chestnut Street.

Friendly workmen greeted us, including this proud Friend of the Library who had just finished cleaning the hallway before we walked through.

If you would like to join one of the tours, which are scheduled every few weeks on Tuesday afternoons, please contact the Library Campaign office (Matt Blumenfeld or Debra Vega) at 413-322-5636.

Hard hats are provided. Tour groups are limited in size to avoid disrupting the on-going work.