Friday, November 17, 2006

Demo’s Done & Construction Continues…Right On Schedule!

Unless you’ve been out of town the past few months, you really don’t need this report to tell you the San Marino Public Library’s most important construction news thus far. You can see it for yourself, whenever you pass the corner of West Drive and Huntington Drive…

The old building is gone!

Caterpillars, construction crews and trucks now reign where patrons once roamed. Even the parking lot, surrounding pavement and landscaping are no more.

For awhile, in their place were piles of rubble, neatly separated for recycling. “All the steel was delivered to a facility that may reuse or melt the material to form new material,” explains City Manager Matt Ballantyne. “The concrete was crushed and taken to a facility that will convert it to gravel so that it may be used for base material when constructing or repairing streets. Landscaping material can be ground up and reused as mulch.”

For supporters of the new library, this certainly gives new meaning to the expression ‘good riddance.’ For one thing, the ‘environment’ for library patrons throughout the community is changing for the better; the new 29,000 square foot building will provide long needed space for expanded collections, more computers, and larger seating areas. At the same time, the construction project’s overseers are being good environmentalists. 78% of the old building has been recycled.

Additionally, by mid October, survey work to define the limits of the new building and site was completed. “Rough grading followed and included tasks of overexcavation backfill and compaction of soil to 95% density,” Construction Manager Alex Main reported to the City Council in November. “This densely compacted soil will support foundations for the new building.”

In other words, library patrons can rest assured that they won’t find, virtually in their own backyard, a 21st century version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Installation of a mainstay of 21st century life – access to utilities such as gas, electric, water and sewer service – has begun as well. “Utility contractor are coordinating their site layouts so that all pipes and conduits will configure properly around the basement and building foundations,” Alex Main reveals.

However, perhaps the most exciting gift’ is that the foundation was poured – appropriately enough, just in time for the holidays.

“From the beginning, library supporters envisioned the new library as the foundation – the cornerstone – of our community,” says City Librarian Carolyn Crain. “It’s no accident that the plans include a Community Meeting Room, A Lifelong Learning Center and areas for children and young adults. But we also view the new library as a gift for our residents,” adds Crain with a smile. “It’s a beautiful package we can’t wait to unwrap in 2007.”

To become a supporter of the San Marino Public Library Foundation, contact Maureen Micklich, Director of Development, at 626.300.0779 or visit the Foundation’s website,

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