Building Update

The Caledonia Library Association has started some of the steps in our first phase of our expansion: updating and renovating the existing building.

The first phase has a number of steps. They include asbestos removal, insulating the foundation under the back room, updating and adding to the outdated electrical system, re-pointing the stone walls, replacing the roof, replacing the back windows and updating the bathroom.

In order to do some of this work, we need to remove the floors in the back room and the children’s room. Doing this will allow us to complete a number of things at once. While we do this, we will have to stop our modified services for a short time.  We will keep you posted via the internet and signs.

Asbestos removal: As part of the expansion project, the Library opted to have an asbestos assessment. We hired a company to come in and test the entire building. They were very thorough, and tested places we never would have thought of. They found that there was asbestos tape around the duct work seams, in the tape used to hide the drywall seams (the few there are), and in the sealant used to put the edge piece on the roof.

Because the amount of asbestos was small, air quality tests were only needed before and after abatement, not during. These tests showed safe levels, both before and after. As a public building, we thought it best to remove it completely. In order to remove the rest of the duct work, the floors need to come out of the back room and the children’s room. Before replacing the floors and carpet, we will insulate and rewire.

The electrical system: The increase in technology and electrical devices has put a burden on our wiring system.  Two prong outlets have graduated to three prong outlets; outlets on the outer walls mean people have to run their computer cords across a high traffic area in order to power/charge their devices, making an unsafe condition; and multiple outlets in multiple rooms on the same breaker can overload the system and cause a power loss.

An updated and expanded electrical system will help meet the increase on our system from both staff and patrons. Outlets in the center of the room will eliminate the tripping hazard of cords in high traffic areas, while making it more convenient for patrons. An overhaul of the electrical system means the director won’t have to keep running to the cellar to reset the breaker. We want to be wired for the upcoming 22nd century!

Insulating the foundation: As part of the updating, the Caledonia Library Association is looking for ways to save energy and become more efficient. The back room has struggled to reach a high of 58 degrees during a cold period, and that is with the furnace constantly running. The cause of this is two-fold: no insulation and giant duct work. In order to become more energy efficient, we will be insulating the foundation under the back room and the children’s room, as well as installing smaller, more energy efficient, insulated ducts.

Re-pointing the stone walls: It’s obvious-the Library is made out of stones-BIG stones. What isn’t so obvious is the mortar used to join the stones is crumbling in the cellar.  (The Library is almost 200 years old) We hired a mason to come in and re-point between these stones. We also hired this mason to fix the roof where the roof sealant was, as there was some exposure created from removing the sealant that had asbestos in it.

Re-pointing the library helps keep moisture and insects out, while maintaining the structural integrity of our beloved building.

Replacing the roof: Replacing the roof will allow us to use more up-to-date material that will offer better insulation and create a barrier against cold and heat while giving us proper ventilation. This not only saves energy, but the life of the roof, as well. In addition, it will give us access to the ceiling in order to add updated wiring for necessary lighting. The new roof will also merge with the roof line of the planned addition.

Replacing the back windows: The sills and mullions are dry-rotted due to exposure and old age.

Replacing the windows is absolutely necessary due to their condition, and aligns with our energy efficiency plan.

Updating the bathroom: Galvanized and cast-iron pipes installed in the late 1930s show severe rust and pose a potential water threat to the downstairs ceiling and bookshelves. Other fixtures, such as the toilet, pose the same threat due to their age and fail to meet current ADA requirements.

Updated pipes and fixtures reduce the threat of water damage. A new toilet will insure water efficiency and safety.

All of this work is the first phase of our expansion project. By updating and repairing the existing building, it will stand for another 200 years.