Renovations Proposed For Prendergast Library

The James Prendergast Library may be undergoing significant renovations in the coming year.

David Walter, senior vice president of Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals, explained the proposed upgrades at a public meeting in the library’s Fireplace Room on Thursday night.

Walter explained how the library’s renovations will be a two-phase project, the first of which contractors would begin bidding on in February. Actual construction for the first phase is proposed to begin in April.

The first phase of proposed renovations will focus on making the library compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including upgrading a freight elevator to a passenger elevator and the installation of five restrooms to improve family use and accessibility. It also includes upgrades to the children’s room and the creation of a new teen space.

The proposed cost of this phase includes roughly $302,000 for general construction, $160,000 for mechanical, electrical and plumbing and $75,000 for potential incidental costs. Thomas Rankin, treasurer of the James Prendergast Library, explained that the New York State Library has approved the Prendergast Library Board of Trustees’ application for a Public Library Construction Grant, totaling $294,000. The city of Jamestown has also funded $70,000 to the project, mainly to aid the library in reaching compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. An endowment fund at the library has provided $87,000. The Prendergast Library is in the process of raising the remaining costs, roughly $85,000, through various fundraising efforts.

The second phase of the project, for which funds have not yet been raised, includes renovations to the children’s room entrance, improvements to the first-floor circulation and the creation of a new stair and balcony connector for the second-floor space created by the first phase.

Overall, the proposed renovations will make the library significantly more accessible for those with disabilities and physical difficulties. According to Walter, the upgrades will also brighten up the children’s area and make the library increasingly family-friendly.

The PowerPoint presentation detailing the proposed changes will be available at www.prendergastlibrary.org and in printed copies at the library. For more information, call 484-7135, or visit the library at 509 Cherry St., Jamestown.