Things are changing at Delta Public Library, and patrons should be able to see the full effect by mid-summer.
An estimated $392,000 interior renovation project that will add two “quiet” rooms and expand and relocate specific areas is expected to commence by March 1. Library Director Candy Baird said the upgrade will offer patrons enhanced service.
“I think they’ll be very happy with it,” she said.
Improvements include converting an audio-visual equipment closet and the library’s computer room into quiet spaces reserved for study and for employment counselors to confer with clients. One of the rooms will also hold the library’s genealogy material.
Computers used by patrons will be relocated to a general area.
Library staff will be given an expanded work space, and the facility’s restrooms will be updated to meet requirements of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The project will also relocate the teen area to the current children’s space at the back of the building, and the children’s area to the middle of the library.
“We wanted to get the children away from the back entrance for safety reasons,” Baird said. She said teen patrons won’t face the possible hazards smaller children do in that space.
The library’s interior will get a fresh coat of paint, and the activity room will receive new flooring so that it might be rented to outside groups in the future.
“There’s really nowhere in town for people to rent out anymore,” Baird said, other than possibly the village’s Memorial Hall and local church space. “We find people are asking more for things like that.”
Prepared by Beilharz Architects, Inc. of Defiance, the project is estimated to be completed by mid-July. The library, at 402 Main St., will remain open until the final phase, which will close the facility for three to four weeks, probably beginning in June.
“We’re going to stay open as much as possible,” Baird said.
Discussions by the library’s board of trustees about renovations began last fall. The project will be funded through a 2-mill renewal levy for current expenses that was passed by voters in May 2018.
The trustees will accept sealed bids for the renovation until noon on Feb. 15.
Baird said the primary change will be the “quiet” rooms. She said the library wanted to offers students and other patrons a place to study or confer away from the everyday bustle.
Louise Gilson, vice president for the board of trustees, said the renovation comes at a time when the library has nearly outgrown the building.
“We are bursting at the seams, and we want to make the best use of the space we have,” she said. “Our patrons are very loyal to us, so we want to continue serving them the best we can.”
Gilson said although more parking space outside and more square footage inside is needed, the patrons would rather the library stay at the present location.
A grand reopening ceremony is being considered after the project is complete, but no date has been set.
Delta’s public library building was built in 1959. It has undergone at least three renovation projects since then, including a face-lift to the front in 2005 and a improvements to the back entrance in 2008.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.