Re-opening the Delta Public Library after renovations was a bit delayed, but Director Candy Baird said the results were worth the wait.
Closed for five weeks rather than the expected month, the library at 402 Main St. opened its doors July 8 following a major overhaul by Midwest Contracting of Holland, Ohio. The $325,000 project designed by Beilharz Architects of Defiance was funded through a 2-mill operational levy passed by voters in 2013.
“We had to take an extra week to get everything set up,” Baird said. “It definitely looks different. It seems more open.”
Work began in March. The building was closed to the public June 1, and remained closed an extra week as workers tussled with a minor setback. Basic library functions were available during the closure.
A formal open house will be held Friday, Aug. 2, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., then again Saturday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Refreshments will be available both days in the community room. Baird said patrons are welcome to visit and see the visible changes.
The project included the addition of two “quiet” rooms that replaced an audio-visual equipment closet and the library’s computer room. Baird said the rooms will be reserved for study and for employment counselors to confer with clients. One of the rooms will also hold genealogy material.
Computers used by patrons have been relocated to a general area.
Other changes include an expanded work space for library staff and upgraded restrooms to meet requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The interior got a fresh coat of paint, and the activity room received new flooring in anticipation of renting the space to outside groups. The library’s teen area has been moved to the former children’s space, and the children’s area to the middle of the library.
Louise Gilson, vice president for the board of trustees, said previously the library could use more interior square footage and parking lot space but patrons prefer the present Main Street location.
Built in 1959, the library has undergone at least three renovations, including one to the exterior front in 2005 and one to the back entrance in 2008.
Baird said patrons will be pleased with the changes, which come at a time when the library has nearly outgrown the facility. “We’re just anxious for people to come in and see the new library. We’re really proud of it,” she said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.