By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Renovations at Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave., have been delayed until at least April 30 due to unforeseen construction delays and further asbestos remediation.
During the Jan. 14 City Council meeting, a resolution to authorize Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. to execute a second amendment to the lease agreement with Affiliated Sierra Group LLC for warehouse space at 15201 Commerce Drive North was approved.
The warehouse has been used to store library books since construction began in May. Council President Susan Dabaja said the contract extension is for a little over $10,000 per month totaling $42,500 and expires April 30.
In September, the council approved an amendment to the lease agreement for the same warehouse space in the amount of $22,315 with an expiration date of Dec. 31.
When the renovation project initially began in May, the deadline was set through the fall with a re-opening of the library to follow.
Dearborn Public Library Director Maryanne Bartles said two contractors are working to complete renovations in the 87,000-square-foot building.
She added that when the water needed to be shut off for construction in the 50-year-old building, six valves had to be replaced because they were not working. That in itself caused a 10-day delay.
Regarding the asbestos remediation, Bartles said once asbestos was dealt with in one part of the building, more would be found in another part. Also, she said the remediation process was more complicated than expected.
The asbestos was sealed and capsulated, which required notifying the state and removing everyone from the building in order to do so.
Once completed, the library will have a new energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and replacement of existing lights with energy-efficient lighting. The HVAC aspect is being managed by the Department of Public Works.
The renovation on the second floor includes the children’s area and will reorganize the book stacks layout, update the bathrooms, add electrical outlets and replace wallpaper.
East side mezzanine plans are to add a new conference room and seven group study rooms, maker space, relocated computer lab and digitization lab, additional single-person study booths. A first floor snack lounge with vending machines also is planned.
Funds to support the HVAC renovation and replacement of existing lighting were made available through a bond sale, and Library Capital Improvement project money will support all additional improvements, according to the HFCL website.
Library hours at Bryant Branch Library, 22100 Michigan Ave. and Esper Branch Library, 12929 Warren Ave. have been extended due to the HFCL construction.
For more information on the libraries or renovation project go to www.dearbornlibrary.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])