Restoration work at Burton Barr Central Library continues to make great progress. Carpet, ceiling tile and fixture replacement plus drywall installation and painting on floors 1 through 4 is on schedule to be completed mid-March. Work on the 5th floor, which includes the removal of the original fire suppression system and roof, and installation of the replacement suppression system and roof began in mid-January. The scaffolding system being used to support workers and materials is a suspended-from-the-ceiling system (rather than building scaffolding from the floor up) which allows for work to be completed without our having to move everything housed on the 5th floor.
We are also using this opportunity to expand the Children's area and College Depot. College Depot is adding a computer lab that will accommodate 66 people and a large meeting/training room. In the Children’s area, the First Five Years area will be expanded and upgraded, the storytime space will become a flexible area that will accommodate both small and large groups, and the collection will be expanded and will feature a display with multiple copies of the best 100 children’s titles.
In the meantime, Phoenix Public Library customers in central Phoenix may access a full host of library services at Phoenix Public Library @ Park Central. This temporary location is a 30,000 square foot space which offers approximately 50,000 items for checkout, almost 40 computers with free internet access, and a wide range of programming for all ages. We plan to close our operation at Park Central when Burton Barr is ready to reopen. As we get closer to early summer, more specific details and schedules regarding library openings and closings at these two locations will be confirmed and released.