Library Entrance Project Takes Next Step

The Ann Arbor District Library board has authorized the library director to negotiate with O’Neal Construction Inc. for work related to the downtown library entrance. The action came at the board’s May 19, 2014 meeting.

O’Neal would be contracted to provide construction management services. This is the next step in a process that began several months ago.

At the board’s April 21, 2014 meeting, the board had authorized the library director, Josie Parker, to hire a construction manager for the project. Board members also allocated $18,580 from the fund balance to pay InForm Studio for construction documents. InForm Studio, the architecture firm that previously designed AADL’s Traverwood branch, gave an update on the process at that same meeting.

The existing teal porcelain panels that wrap around the front facade, part of architect Alden Dow’s original design from the mid-1950s, will be replaced with a “concrete skin” panel. The entrance will continue to be oriented to South Fifth Avenue, with new doors into the building. Leading from the front of the building into the vestibule will be two balanced double doors, which will be easier to open than the existing entry, and a single automatic door. A matching set of these doors will lead from the vestibule to the interior of the building. A heated sidewalk is proposed along the exterior edge of the steps.

The new design also will address accessibility concerns that have been raised by the public.

The overall project is now expected to cost more than $250,000.

This brief was filed from the fourth floor boardroom of the downtown library at 343 S. Fifth Ave. A more detailed report will follow: [link]