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Library construction extended to October

JULIE LANE PHOTO Renovations at the library began in May.
Renovations at the library began in May.

Originally aiming for a late August completion date, it’s now estimated that construction at the Shelter Island Library, started in the spring, will conclude in early October, according to Library Director Terry Lucas.

Work on a new roof began in May and a new front entrance has been under construction this summer.

Delays this summer were linked to obtaining materials, according to Ms. Lucas. But the longer time frame doesn’t mean incurring higher costs, she said.

“We have entered into a fixed price contract for the project” with contractors Reich/Eklund Construction, she said. The maximum for the original project, which didn’t include the roof, is $234,036, Ms. Lucas said. The original project involved changes to the building entrance and a new concrete walkway.

The realization that the roof had to be added to the project came when Ms. Lucas found “a lot of flying shingles” in the parking lot. She and the library board opted to move on the roofing to avoid potential damage to books and materials, and is still calculating its cost.

Project planning had started under previous Library Director Denise DiPaolo. Ms. DiPaolo obtained a $50,000 grant from the New York State Education Building Grant Fund to offset the overall costs. The balance of the project cost is coming from the library’s capital fund.

Despite the construction, the library has remained open and it has been a very busy summer, Ms. Lucas said.

She cited a number of benefits she said would make the time and money worthwhile:
• The new ramp compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and current building codes will allow wheelchairs and strollers a smooth ride
• Push button access to open and close the front doors will make it viable for those in wheelchairs
• A double-doored vestibule will save energy
• Windows in the vestibule will enable children to safely wait inside for their parents or caregivers to pick them up
• A portico will provide cover from weather elements.