The downtown Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth Ave. will reopen on Friday, Aug. 22 after being closed over the past week for repairs to its public elevator. There will be another temporary closing next week, however, as that work continues.
In a post on her director’s blog, Josie Parker stated: ”The last phase of the work is scheduled for next week, and we anticipate another closure for the installation of the new jack. That work is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, August 27.”
On Aug. 13, the library announced that its downtown building would be closed indefinitely starting the following day. The elevator has been out of commission since this spring, after leaks had developed in the hydraulic piston, causing it to fail a weight test. At their July 21, 2014 meeting, trustees authorized a $93,598 contract with Schindler Elevator Corp. to repair the elevator. A week after the July 21 meeting, the board called a special meeting for July 29 to address additional issues related to the elevator. The four board members present at that meeting voted to authorize an additional $75,000 for elevator work.
The plan at that time was to attempt to keep the downtown library open as much as possible during the work, with the caveat that it was still unclear exactly what would be required to make the repair. However, the work required drilling concrete casings, which explosed the work area in such a way that made it impossible for the library to remain open.
The AADL is also undertaking a major renovation to the front entrance of the downtown library. On July 21, AADL trustees authorized authorized a $425,523 construction budget for that project, which has been in the works for several months. The budget covers new doors, a redesigned facade, and heated sidewalks, among other changes. The construction manager is O’Neal Construction of Ann Arbor.