Friday, January 22, 2010

Two City Libraries to Close for Renovation Preparation

Two Richmond Public Libraries will close for one day in preparation for substantial renovations. Westover Hills Library will be closed on Tuesday, January 26, and North Avenue Library will be closed on Tuesday, February 2. These one day closures will allow for an inventory of library books and materials to be conducted.

North Avenue Library and Westover Hills Library will be the first libraries to undergo renovation. Scope of work includes the rewiring of the buildings for 21st century computer use and for the addition of new public computers (17 for North Avenue Library and 15 for Westover Hills Library), realignment of shelving for improved efficiency, new furniture with improved seating, new windows, carpet, interior paint, interior lighting, and improved outside lighting and landscaping. Work is expected to begin in May 2010.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones first announced the library renovations in March 2009 during his biennial budget proposal to City Council. North Avenue Library, which was built in 1983, will be renovated at an estimated cost of $815,000. Renovation costs for Westover Hills Library, which opened in July 1959, are estimated to be $750,000.

A total of more than $9 million over the term of the project has been set aside to complete renovations to all city libraries. Renovation funding is being provided through the "Building a Better Richmond" fund of the city's Capital Improvement Plan.