An open house will show off the refurbished Hubbard library -- practically an entirely new building, the director says.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
A YEAR AND $1.4 MILLION WORTH OF renovations later, Hubbard Public Library is preparing to show itself off to the community.
"We're really pleased with the way the project has gone," Ruth Mizik, library director, said.
As she pointed out various improvements, staff, volunteers and construction workers were putting the final touches on the facility, which has a third more space.
"We were completely running out of room," Mizik said. "The building was never designed for computers."
To show off results of the expansion, the West Liberty Street library near downtown will have an open house from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
There will be a 2:30 p.m. dedication of a wing named in memory of Donald E. Schafer, a member of the library board for 46 years.
At 3:15 p.m., an indoor gazebo in the children's room will be dedicated in memory of Barbara Schulty, who was an active member of Friends of Hubbard Public Library.
The library has steadily grown from a one-room facility built in 1937 in Roosevelt Elementary School. It was expanded to two rooms at the school, then a separate building was constructed on its present site in 1962.
Improvements were made in 1991 and 1995.
In 2000, a bond issue was approved by voters that made $1.4 million available for the major overhaul.
The building has new heating and air conditioning units and electrical and plumbing systems.
"We're looking at a whole new building," Mizik explained.
Other improvements include more meeting room space, added space between book stacks and stacks placed to take better advantage of overhead lighting, more natural light throughout the building and an elevator that will accommodate two wheelchairs at once.
One meeting room can handle 235 people, but it has dividers so multiple meetings can be conducted simultaneously.
Details were taken into consideration such as paintings on the walls and a working model train that runs on tracks through the children's area.
Customers, Mizik explained, can even call ahead to order materials, then simply drive up in their vehicles, drop off their return items and pick up the new material in the drive-through lane.
"If McDonald's can do it, we can do it," she said.
Although any customer can use the drive-through, it's especially convenient for mothers with toddlers, when it's raining and for older folks.
The architect is William Koster of Library Architects Inc. of Lakewood, and Kriedler Construction Inc. of Poland is general contractor.
Mizik said Kriedler and the subcontractors worked around library activities so the facility had to be closed only two or three days in the past year.
The facility is closed through Wednesday to prepare for the Sunday open house.