A grand renovation

Improvements moving forward

The tech services old room will house part of the adult collection when the library reopens. (Photo submitted)

GLOVERSVILLE — Progress is being made in the ongoing renovation project at the Gloversville Public Library.

Library Director Barbara Madonna said the footings are going in for the addition on the back of the building and interior demolition of walls and ceilings are moving along. Electricians and plumbers will be on hand to install new wiring and piping.

“We’re moving ahead,” she said of the work.

This is the first major renovation project at the library since its opening in the early 20th Century.

Planning for this renovation started eight years ago and included a number of steps from design to approval.

Bottles that were found when lathe and plaster ceilings were removed. (Photo submitted)

Alterations to the library’s floor plan will include an expanded children’s library that is being moved into the basement, a designated teen space, new meeting rooms, additional niches for reading, installation of air conditioning and new handicapped accessibility, including an elevator.

Madonna said the elevator has been ordered. She said there isn’t yet an official time frame, because elevators are a custom, made to order item. The elevator the library ordered will be a “90 degree” one, which means that there will be a door facing the southside and another facing the west side of the building.

“I think it will be a bit while it is being manufactured at the company,” she said.

The layout of the parking lot will also be changed during construction. Drivers will enter into the lot by the East Fulton Street entrance and exit onto Fremont Street.

The library will also have an annex lot on the other side of the Fulton County Probation Office. It is currently being used as a staging area for the construction project but will later be converted to a staff and overflow parking lot.

The Carnegie Room is pictured above. After renovations are complete, the room will remain a meeting room, but will be handicap-accessible. (Photo submitted)

The renovation project will not alter the historic character of the building. The intricate details work on the exterior, spiral cases and woodwork will remain. The only thing historic that will be removed is the 1900’s boiler that has been heating the building.

The library, which opened in 1905, was funded by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie’s library program. The library was constructed of a cream-colored limestone base with tan brick and was constructed in a beaux arts architecture style that was popular in the 19th century.

During the lead up to the construction, the library ran a successful Capital Campaign that has raised more than $8 million, including $4.8 million in grants, including a $2 million one obtained by former state Sen. Hugh T. Farley a few months before his retirement.

A $1.1 million state Consolidated Funding Application grant awarded in December was the first awarded to a library in the state. In May, state Sen. James Tedisco announced a $223,878 grant for the project.

The library is currently housed in its temporary space at the Fulton County for Regional Growth facility at 34 W. Fulton Street.

The concrete wall is removed from the former janitor’s room in the basement to enlarge the area for the new children’s room. (Photo submitted)

It is continuing with many of its public programs. Upcoming events at the library include a special Fall-themed story time that is scheduled for 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, and an Adult stamped hand towels craft session will be held in two different sessions one from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and the other from 5:30 to 6;45 p.m. on Sept. 27. Registration is needed for the craft event and can be made by going to eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=GVILLE and clicking the register button under the event listing.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.