News from the project site
April 1, 2013
The construction phase of our renovation project is now complete. Whew!
We've received our first furniture delivery and the rest will be arriving in the next 2 to 3 weeks. The largest delivery will be all the shelving. The shelves will be assembled and installed on-site so it will take a couple of weeks. After that, the large pieces such as the circulation desks and display cases will arrive. All these pieces were designed and built in Erie, Colorado especially for our library.
The last delivery will bring the remaining tables, chairs and other pieces to finish out the new decor.
Then the library's temporary location will close and all the books will be moved back to the Carnegie. Staff will move all their supplies home and then spend some time getting everything put away. That won't be as simple as it may sound since they will now have lots of new options for storage and lots of decisions to make.
At the same time, the final decorative touches will be put in place. The Historical Society of Idaho Springs has graciously given us prints of several historic photos from the Society's collection and these will be displayed throughout the library.
There will be one more update posted in about a month. By then all the furniture should be in place and the staff will be busily working to get ready for the reopening.
The library will reopen on Monday, May 20 but first there will be a grand reopening party on Friday evening, the 17th. Watch the website for further details and come see how beautifully everything has turned out. We think you'll agree it was worth the wait.
News from the project site
February 2, 2013
It's so exciting to see the library coming back together! So much is already done but there is still a lot to do.
Almost all of the upstairs has been painted and about a third of the downstairs is done. Installation of baseboard and other trim downstairs is nearly complete. The elevator is 90% finished and a few of us have actually ridden it up and down.
The new heated sidewalk along the north (playground) side has been poured. It leads directly to the elevator lobby entrance. When we're finished, the handicapped parking space will be moved to the front of the library, closest to the walkway. The existing ramp will be closed.
For a more even surface and to extend carpet life, leveling compound was applied in some areas downstairs and a solid underlayment was put down. Our new carpet will be one of the last things to appear.
February will see a lot of progress as we near completion. Refinishing on the stairs and installation of the tile flooring in the elevator lobby will begin next week. The wood and glass wall that will create the new History Room has been built off-site and will be put in place the middle of this month. Plumbing fixtures, including drinking fountains, will be placed later in the month. Lights and other electrical fixtures will be mounted around the end of the month. The radiators will be reinstalled and the new boiler will soon be heating the building. Phone and data lines will be connected in the next couple of weeks.
You may have seen the recent articles in the paper about the project. Caroline Jensen is making a beautiful stained glass insert for the upstairs circulation desk. It will be one of the first things you see when you come into the library.
We are still on schedule for completion of this construction phase in mid-March. After that, the new furniture will be delivered and installed. Then the library will move back and the plan is to have a grand re-opening celebration in May. Watch for details.
News from the project site
January 2, 2013
The holiday season is over and the library work continues uninterrupted. All the drywall is up and is being taped and finished. Where new woodwork is needed, it has been installed. The interior doors have been delivered and most have been hung. The new boiler is in, as is the huge electric panel on the west side of the building.
There's a lot of what looks like spaghetti hanging from the ceiling in what will be the staff room downstairs. The phone and data lines have been pulled through the conduit and are waiting to be connected. No more exposed phone or computer wires hanging off the steam pipes!
The Contractor is investigating ways to reduce the squeak in the stairs. The noise won't all disappear - that would require completely rebuilding the staircase - but it will be a lot quieter than it was.
All the work is exciting to watch but the most interesting is that the new elevator is finally being installed. It should be complete by the end of January. This particular type of elevator was chosen because it does not have all the gears on the top. That allowed the architects to design the shaft to be as short as possible. Instead of being lifted and lowered from the top as most elevators are, this one will be lifted from the side, riding up and down on supports that function sort of like a forklift. The supports are being installed now and then the elevator car will be assembled and installed.
You may have noticed that the covering was removed from the elevator shaft and the new brick was visible. Soon, however, the covering will return as the masons install the block facing that will cover the rest of the shaft exterior. The insulated covering helps maintain the temperature so the mortar will set properly.
The new furniture has been ordered and the custom pieces are being built. It will all arrive for installation as soon as the construction phase is completed.
As we move into the new year, we're all getting anxious to see the finished product. It seems only yesterday that work began but it will be complete and the library will be reopened before we know it. Check back later . . .
November 19, 2012
Work at the library continues relentlessly and week by week the changes become more obvious. When the library moved out, the building seemed oddly empty. Actually it was empty but none of us had ever seen it that way. Now the building is full of the sounds of construction. Power tools, hammers and the voices of workmen echo as the carpenters, plumbers, electricians, stone masons and others are all busy on their parts of the project.
Every construction project discovers surprises and the older the building, the greater the surprises. Our library has been no exception. We found rotted floor joists on the lower level, apparently the result of water damage some 50 years ago. There was one spot where the floor joists were charred; probably at the location of a wood stove that is long gone. All these sections have been repaired and reinforced, and are now ready to eventually receive the new carpet that will be installed.
We have reached the point where new materials can begin to be installed. That will make the changes even more obvious. It's getting easier to visualize how the architectural plans will translate into walls and doorways. A couple of new walls are going to be constructed and framing has begun. The last update showed where some new doorways had been created and soon the trim around those openings will be installed.
The elevator shaft has reached its full height and the exterior walls of the elevator lobby have been constructed. Those walls are now getting a brick and sandstone veneer. Exposed original brick, previously hidden by the jail, have been cleaned and you will be able to see the original walls from inside the elevator lobby. This, too, was difficult to visualize from the plans. Now that it's taking shape, it's easier to see and understand how the doorways, stairs and the elevator itself will look.
All of the work on this historic Carnegie Library Building, this project and the exterior work done in 2010, was planned to honor the history of the building while preparing it to serve the community well into the future. Our architects, Hoehn Architects, and our contractor, Spectrum General Contractors, all have extensive experience in historic preservation. In fact, Spectrum was recently awarded the Keystone Award by Historic Denver in recognition of the many restoration projects they have been involved with in Denver over the past 30 years. Did you know Spectrum is the company that turned the former Lowenstein Theater into what we know today as the Tattered Cover Bookstore in LoDo? More relevant for us, Spectrum was also the general contractor for the library's exterior restoration in 2010.
Keep checking back for more updates.