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Published: Wednesday, 5/12/2004

Delta: Architect readies expansion plans

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

DELTA - An architect working on the floor plan for an expansion of the Delta Public Library is expected to present the drawing to the library board during its May 18 meeting.

"We want to make it the best possible plan," said Patricia Grover, the director who is working with Bill Steele of Spring Valley Architects of Maumee on the floor space layout.

After a recent feasibility study, the board agreed to proceed with the project that will expand the library at 402 Main St., by 1,070 square feet. It will double the size of the front entry foyer, providing extra room for baby strollers and for accessibility for people with handicaps. A covered exterior walkway on the northeast side will extend over a brick patio area, and a storage room will bebuilt, she said.

About 600 square feet of space of the total 1,070 will be for public service areas, Mrs. Grover noted. That added space will let the library expand the audio-visual and books-on-tape collections, she said. A quiet corner will be available for genealogy research. Mrs. Grover said lack of space is the most constant challenge. Voters have turned down funding requests for a new library, but she said the board of trustees still would like a new facility.

"We have to wait until a definite economic upturn because this expansion is just giving us some breathing room, it's sort of a big Band-Aid," she said. "We have not given up on a new facility. We still need it."

Updating and expansion will help this facility work more efficiently, Mrs. Grover said.

John Bamonte, president of the Delta Public Library's board of trustees, agreed that this project is "more like a Band-Aid approach. We definitely are strapped for space. We do need a new library. The voters have told us not at this time, and we respect that." This project, however, is the "last possible way to get a little more space," he said.

The goal of the library is to provide the best services possible for the patrons in the community, he said. "We are doing what we can."

Expansion will mow down a chunk of the library's front yard, but some residents have expressed concern not about grass, but about glass - the library's front windows. Some have asked if it would be possible for the addition to feature large front windows where local artists can continue to paint colorful scenes that change with the seasons and the holidays.

The downtown location is wonderful, Mr. Bamonte said, but there will be no more room to expand. Expanding here just won't work beyond thishe said.

Groundbreaking likely will occur in July. Plans call for construction to be finished by the end of September, Mrs. Grover said. Estimated cost is $125,000. Funding already has been set aside, she said. "We have been saving bit by bit."

Contact Janet Romaker at:

jromaker@theblade.com

or 419-724-6006.



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