Central library plans major renovations

2011-05-13T00:00:00Z Central library plans major renovationsBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Multiple improvements are planned during a renovation project at the central Lake County Public Library.

Additional meeting rooms, technology improvements and a new entrance are among features patrons can expect at the library at 1919 W. 81st Ave., said Ana Grandfield, the library's assistant director.

"We're all excited about it," Grandfield said.

The renovations also include building a literacy room to help individuals who have reading difficulties, Grandfield said.

The facility's exterior will be refaced with brick instead of the current white panels.

Grandfield said the layout of the facility will be changed. The north end of the building will house administration offices and the south portion will be the library branch.

The book drop-off will be changed so patrons won't have to leave their vehicles to return items.

The library will install a more efficient HVAC system, which will reduce its operating costs, Grandfield said.

The size of the south parking lot will be reduced during the project. The change could improve drainage in the area, Grandfield said.

She said the library will begin seeking bids for the project in June and the renovations could begin in July. The total cost hasn't been determined.

The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete, and the library will remain open during the renovations.

The Town Council on Tuesday decided to waive building permit fees for the renovations. Merrillville Zoning Director Dorinda Gregor said the amount the town will waive hasn't been determined since a building permit hasn't been established.

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