Update: Horace C. Downing Branch Library Renovations
Last November, NPL began the process of packing materials for the renovation of the Horace C. Downing Branch. During the initial demolition phase, a few issues with the building, which is owned by NRHA, were discovered that required addressing. The testing and changes needed to the building created unforeseen delays that halted work on the project. It also caused an issue with financing, as certain deadlines had to be met based on the original financing of the project through HUD. The building and financing issues were resolved over the summer and work resumed by late summer.
As of the end of November, demolition, plumbing and a majority of electrical/mechanical/lighting work has been completed. The following installation has also taken place: drywall, bathroom fixtures and tile, exterior ramp and railing, exterior awning and bike racks. The sprinkler and fire-rated assembly work is also complete. Painting and carpeting is being completed now along with the installation of interior doors and hardware, window shades, interior and exterior signage and final punch list items.
Once all of the furniture and shelving is installed, NPL will begin the process of setting up computers and technology components, books and materials, the KidZone area and staff areas.
A spring 2018 reopening is anticipated. NPL has made a handful of presentations to the Southside Task Force regarding the project and will provide an update at their December meeting. Additionally, the branch staff continues to provide programs at various locations throughout the Berkley community and the bookmobile staff has increased their stops in the area to address the need for materials and access to items.