Community support leads to library expansion

By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

Michele Lowe envisions jugglers being able to toss their bowling pins higher. Musicians will have more room for their equipment. And the Westland Area Library will be able to host authors.

Those are some of the possibilities for the library when the current construction is completed, said Lowe. She’s not sure when the work will be done, but she hopes by the end of the year.

The work is being done in the rear of the library in the middle of the Lincoln Village Plaza so the front part is not much affected. Shortly after the work began and the construction crew was digging and excavating, “the building was shaking” she said.

The work is an expansion of the children’s area, the first time this area has been enlarged since1991, said library spokesman Mark Dubovec.

“We’ll have a much larger program space and will be able to accommodate large audiences,” Lowe said.

High ceilings mean the jugglers can toss their bowling pins higher. Larger space means magicians and musicians have more room for their equipment. There will be a pull-down screen and a projector that can be coordinated with a computer for power point presentations.

The expansion is adding 3,600 square feet to the building.

But while work is being done to bring these dreams into reality, some changes have been made. Patrons can still check out books, use computers, and attend programs. However, the front meeting room is closed as is the Community Education Center which is being used as storage.

Shortly before work began, signs were posted to alert patrons to the inconveniences they would experience. Yellow caution tape and hard hats are among the items used in displays to help explain those inconveniences.

“The public is our number one concern,” Lowe said. “Patrons are accepting and understanding.”

The cost of the work, according to the budget of Linford Construction Co. is $841,475. The library, Lowe said, will pay 40 percent of the cost, and Continental Reality, the landlord, will cover the remaining 60 percent over 18 years.
Library funds for this work is coming from a 1-mill levy voters approved in 2010. This 10-year levy expires in 2020.

“We want to keep our promises to the voters and make sure we support all aspects of the library,” said Lowe.

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