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Lower Merion Library Decisions Loom

As a second major renovation draws to an end, other branches face different challenges, the library system's director told the Board of Commissioners.

Lower Merion Director of Libraries Christine Steckel addressed the Board of Commissioners Wednesday night with updates from five of the six township branches:

  • Ludington: Use of the renovated library, which reopened in September, has quickly returned to 2009 levels, meaning roughly 51,000 items circulating a month and 26,000 visitors a month. Parking can be scarce, so the library is now selling smart cards for meters at the library and in Lot 7 across Lancaster Avenue.
  • Bala Cynwyd: After about a year of construction, the building has been enclosed, and furniture is due to be delivered in February. The hope is for a grand opening April 6. The estimated cost of construction is $7.3 million; Ludington's was about $10 million, according to Steckel.
  • Ardmore: An architectural and engineering report on renovation options, including how to replace the elevator, is expected to reach township officials in January. Meanwhile, roof and window repairs are due to finish in early April.
  • Gladwyne: The Gladwyne Library Board and the township government are working on a legal agreement to govern the renovation of the privately owned building. Library leaders are moving ahead with plans for an exterior elevator and presenting a design to the Historical Architectural Review Board in February, with the goal of putting the project out to bid in the summer.
  • Penn Wynne: Any renovations at this branch would likely be further down the line than those already mentioned, but the Penn Wynne library board is already planning its future and proposing to take over the property. 130 Overbrook Parkway in Wynnewood was most recently assessed for tax purposes at about $591,000, according to property records.

Do you have a question about library renovation plans at one or more Lower Merion branches? Ask it in the comments section below.

Molly Espey January 03, 2013 at 03:57 PM
When will work begin on the wonderful little Belmont Hills Library?
Helen Sewell Johnson January 03, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Belmont Hills Library has been a little workhorse, filling in for other libraries during their reconstruction in addition to its vital services to its own neighborhoods. I am astonished and annoyed that it is left off this list--shoved to the background, ignored, unmentioned--with no plans stated for the essential remodeling for this wonderful neighborhood resource.
Tim Rabbit January 04, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Belmont Hills has always been last on the list but it has not been neglected. If you want to see what is planned, go to http://www.lowermerion.org/Attach/LMLS_ConceptPlans_Elevations3.pdf The plan is to add 1608 square feet to the building, add a public meeting room, add a private office for the librarian, move the entrance closer to the parking, add staff work space and storage space, at a cost of $1.5 million, construction to start in 2016.

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