Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr will reopen on Bryn Mawr 100 Day, Sept. 8, director of libraries Christine Steckel announced at Wednesday night's Lower Merion Board of Commissioners meeting.
The library has been undergoing renovations since early 2010 and was originally supposed to reopen in early 2011, officials said. Construction is in its final stage now, shelves and furniture are expected to be returned to the building soon, and staff will be trained on several new technological systems before reopening, Steckel said.
Commissioner Lew Gould railed against the administration and the "embarrassment" of the Ludington project's cost and time overruns. Township manager Doug Cleland acknowledged the project has had problems but said the township is contesting some of the fees contractors are claiming they're owed.
Also Wednesday night, the board was divided over whether to embark upon a renovation of the Ardmore Library at the same time as a renovation of the Gladwyne Library.
Steckel advocated for a joint bid, telling the commissioners they might get more competitive quotes and that the two projects included some similarities, such as the need for a new elevator at both libraries.
However, several commissioners questioned whether there would be enough savings in a joint project to tie up two branches at once. Both Ludington and the Bala Cynwyd branch are closed now for renovations; neither the Ardmore nor the Gladwyne project would begin until after those branches reopen.
Discussion of the issue was suspended until July. Commissioners Jenny Brown and Dan Bernheim both said they were getting significant constituent feedback with concerns about renovating Gladwyne, including how suitable the elevator would appear in a historically designated building.
Steckel estimated the Ardmore renovation—which would include opening up the loft area to visitors and refurbishing the children's room—would cost $1.2 million. Gladwyne's project—much of it geared toward making the library more accessible to the disabled—is estimated to cost $1.5 million.
Ardmore's branch also may need to briefly close this fall for repairs to roof and window leaks, at a cost of $165,000 to $195,000, paid from federal grants, Steckel said.
Bala Cynwyd's branch will be done with construction in February, officials said Wednesday.