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Peabody library undergoes construction

Posted by Sean Teehan  September 17, 2010 09:54 AM

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Bookworms in Peabody may run into some confusion when going to the library for the next two months.

Construction to replace the Peabody Institute Library's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system began Sept. 7, said Martha Holden, library director.

The main lobby, which holds the circulation and reference desks, as well as public computers and other operations, will be unavailable to the public during part of the construction, according to Holden. They will be moved to other parts of the building, she said.

Since the main entry is closed, users must enter through the childrens' section or courtyard entrance, she added.

Holden, who estimates a resumption in lobby use by November, said construction displaced her and the assistant library director to the quiet study area.

"It's September, so we have a lot of new roommate jokes," Holden said.

According to Holden. the old HVAC system, installed in 1978, sometimes made for an uncomfortable reading experience.

"We had very little control of the temperature in several of the areas," Holden said. "We weren't getting the effectiveness we needed."

After making several repairs to the system, the library enlisted the services of E. Amanti & Sons, Inc. to put in a new HVAC system and lighting more energy efficient than the current setup.

"What they have now is about 70 percent efficient," said John Mondello, E. Amanti & Sons project manager for the Peabody job. High efficiency boilers used in the new system, he said, should bring energy efficiency to about 90 percent.

Holden expects the new lighting, which replaces the current florescent bulbs, to be in a more attractive "cove" style, making the ceiling more appealing to the eye, she said.

The project's total duration, Holden said, will last about a year.

While construction shifted rooms and services for the moment, the public needn’t fear for lack of books.

"We still have access to 100 percent of our collections," Holden said.

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