LIBRARY PLANS SET FOR A PUBLIC LOOK

MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON Staff writer
Section: CAPITAL REGION,  Page: F3

Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Following months of poring over drawings with architects and construction teams, East Greenbush Community Library trustees are now inviting residents to join in a meeting Tuesday to review the design and timetable of the $2.45 million project. The new library, to be built at Luther and Michael roads, will be four times the size of the current facility in East Greenbush Town Hall.


Architects Lepera and Ward, P.C. took over the project last summer after trustees were unable to agree on terms with Butler Rowland Mays Architects, of Mechanicville.


Library director Pat Nonamaker said the new design team has streamlined the plans and made the new building work more efficiently.


``They've brought in a number of cost savings which will be very good for us,'' she said. ``The board is very impressed with them.''


Board president Michael Poost said Tuesday's meeting is one of several held along the way in order to keep everyone on the same page.


``The town has been looking forward to this for a long time,'' he said. ``Just their 8-to-1 margin in voting this in is a statement.''


Poost said he and trustees appreciate residents' patience because the project is about six months behind schedule. But it will all be worth it when the new library opens.


``This is something lasting that we own,'' he said. ``And we've left enough land so when future generations want to expand, they don't have to start from scratch.''


Plans for the 20,000-square-foot library building -- to share a 39-acre parcel with a new YMCA facility -- include room for 29,000 more books, including an expanded nonfiction and new-release section. There will be more newspapers, magazines, computers and computerized card catalog stations.


The library will also offer new story-hour and childrens' rooms, Nonamaker said.


There will also be a drive-through book drop that will allow customers to return items without leaving their cars.


A pick-up area under discussion may have to be left to an add-on bid, Nonamaker said, depending on funding.


Other perks include a teen area, a 125-person community meeting room, 12 additional adult computer work stations and about six for children, she said.


``We're in the process of selecting furnishings and colors,'' she said. ``We may have a little bit of that to show on Tuesday.''


Nonamaker lauded the Sano-Rubin construction team working with both architects and trustees to keep the project in line with the budget. Bid packages will go out later this month and in February, she said, and groundbreaking will take place ``as soon as we can get in the ground, hopefully at the end of March.''


The library could open as soon as December, she said.


It's still unclear what to do with the third parcel the library and YMCA share at the site, she added. Sixteen acres will eventually be sold with proceeds earmarked to ease the tax burden.


``We've been approached by some health care companies interested in elderly housing, a school and a church,'' Nonamaker said. ``But no one's come up with the money we want.''


State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick, has given $35,000 toward the library's construction. Another $5,000 was received from Assemblyman Ronald Canestrari.


Other donations to support the new library include $10,067 from the family and friends of Nan and Dick Wurstlin to honor their 60th wedding anniversary; $200 from Country Trunk of East Greenbush's annual holiday fund-raiser; $1,000 from the Van Rensselaer Masonic Lodge; $1,855 to honor Ray Griffin and Virgina Briggs; and $1,000 from Hudson River Bank and Trust Co.


Library trustees will also be announcing a capital campaign later in the spring, according to the library's Web site.