Saturday, September 30, 2006

Building up

There was a letter to the editor in Monday's Times Union,titled "An all-new main building isn't needed for Albany's library system". In it, DEAN W. HARTLEY, Ph.D. of
Albany writes:

I mentioned that plans should be scrapped for an "all-new" main library in favor of the priority of new and rehabbed branches. There is also the possibility of a compromise, with the remaining funds: could not a second parking level be added to the existing back lot, and a floor or two floors added on top?

On completion, it could be joined to the existing library floors. That would not interfere with existing services as it was under construction, as the razing and wholly-new construction of a new main library would have.

I hope that Dr. Hartley came to the meeting on Thursday, for he would discover that there will be disruptions in the main library to do needed repairs, albeit for a shorter time frame, and that the cost to do those repairs would be about $5 million less than the plans to build new. Not chump change to be sure, but the repair option will not create as much savings as one might desire.

One of the folks at the meeting asked if another floor might be added on. This was not feasible for reasons having to do with load-bearing; books are heavy!

Still, no decision has been made by the library trustees on the plan, though one is expected soon.

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