Construction on the old Syracuse Library began in the middle of November, helping to ready the building for its large expansion. The renovation and expansion will invigorate the community around it.
“We are very excited to be able to move forward. We appreciate the patience of our patrons. We will not be able to keep the library open during construction because it would not be safe,” said Library Director Chris Sandford and Lynette Mills.
With the old library closed, a small satellite kiosk library opened in Heritage Plaza in Building B101. The kiosk is open 10-6 Monday through Friday. The lack of space will make some of the services relatively limited. However, patrons will be able to drop off books and pick-up holds that can be brought in from other libraries. Currently, the kiosk will be unable to carry books for patrons to browse and check-out, though there will be internet access available.
Currently, there is a plan in place to continue to hold summer reading in 2019 in the Syracuse Recreation Center, where it has resided in past years. However, once construction is completed, summer reading will find its new home in the renovated Syracuse Library.
Completion of the remodel is projected in to be Fall of 2019 if there are no delays. The remodel is more than just a small exterior addition. The new library will be just under 16,000 square feet. Inside, there will be two conference rooms that will be able to seat roughly between 100 to 150 people. As in the previous space, there will be a dedicated child space and a new Young Adult section. There will also be dedicated quiet areas for those who stay to read or study. There will also be many interactive components throughout the library along with expanded internet access and more computers for patrons to access the internet from. An auditorium will also be added for performances and summer reading. To top it all off, there will a baby grand piano to be reserved and used for recitals. Reservations for the new features will begin the day that the new library opens.
On the outside there will also be a courtyard where the Story Time will be held (weather permitting). In addition to a courtyard, there will be an interior and exterior fireplace for fall days that are starting to get cold. There will also be two entrances for easy access for patrons who walk from the surrounding neighborhood, along with an entrance by the parking lot. The design of the library is one floor and will allow for vaulted ceilings and natural light.
There has always been a plan to expand the library – even when it was built in 2002. Finances for the renovation and additions have not been favorable enough to allow for the new renovations until now. The projected cost of the gorgeous new library is around five million, a cost that is easily outweighed by the benefits.