Library opening could face delays

Jenelle Klauer, left, and Sarah Furtado wait at the front of a

Gilroy residents likely will have to wait until March until an
interim library branch opens as the result of building upgrades.
Meanwhile, construction workers are keeping busy on interior
improvements at the 7652 Monterey Road building to prepare it for
use.
Gilroy residents may have to wait until March until an interim library branch opens as the result of building upgrades, although Gilroy’s city engineer hopes that will happen sooner. Meanwhile, construction workers are keeping busy on interior improvements at the 7652 Monterey Road building to prepare it for use.

“We’ve had people working six to seven days a week out there,” said Gary Walton, who owns the building that will house the interim library. “I’ll be glad to get it wrapped up.”

Members of the city’s Library Commission received word last month that the library’s opening would likely be delayed until March because of site upgrades, library commissioner Phyllis Armenta said. Library staff has said they expected it could take up to six weeks to get the facility up and running once construction is complete.

However, City Engineer Rick Smelser said Wednesday that he still hopes to get the library opened sometime in February, although he said that is up in the air.

“I try to be optimistic,” he said.

Walton said he hopes for interior work on the building to be complete by Jan. 15. He said it has taken time to bring portions of the building up to code. However, no costs associated with that work will be passed on to the city, he said.

“I think we’ve made some really good progress,” he said.

The City Council authorized a $336,874 lease payment in November to Gary and Jean Walton to use the building.

As Gilroy’s library staff await the use of the new building, many of them are now working throughout the county, Santa Clara County Librarian Melinda Cervantes said.

Some employees are working in the Morgan Hill branch, as lots of Gilroy residents are going there while the Gilroy branch is closed, she said. Others are helping in the administrative offices in Los Gatos to process materials for the Gilroy Library or working in branches in Campbell and Cupertino, she said.

Once interior construction is complete on the Monterey Road building, the first priority for library staff will be to bolt down shelves to make them earthquake proof, she said. Items that were checked out last month will still be due in early February, she said, as the book drop should be open by then.

Local residents will likely use the interim Monterey Road building until summer 2012, when a new structure replacing the current building at 7387 Rosanna St. is expected to be complete, Cervantes said.

Total costs of the library project will be covered by Measure F, a $37 million bond approved by voters in November 2008.

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