Two improvement projects will take place on Level 3 of the heavily used Central Library this fall - the addition of restrooms for the public and the replacement of the worn floor.
The flooring work will intermittently close areas of The Norcliffe Foundation Living Room through February, though we don’t expect it will affect access to the collection. Signage will identify areas that are temporarily closed.
Both projects will be paid for by the Real Estate Excise Tax, which is earmarked for capital improvement projects in public buildings.
The 11-story Central Library opened in 2004 with public restrooms on Levels 1, 4 and 7. Since then, the popular public building has logged more than 22 million visits. Demand for more restrooms is high, and the need was particularly apparent on Level 3, a high-use area with considerable foot traffic, large events, the FriendShop and Chocolati coffee cart, the Starbucks Teen Center and a wide range of seating options.
Restrooms will be added along the north wall of Level 3 near the Fiction area. Additions include multi-stall public restrooms for women and for men and a single-occupant public restroom.
The laptop bar currently in that location will move next to the windows north of the Fifth Avenue entrance.
Work began Oct. 6 and is being primarily done at night while the building is closed to the public. We expect the work to be completed in January.
The Library is committed to providing clean and welcoming spaces for the public and the natural wood floor on Level 3 needs to be upgraded because it has not performed as well as expected. We haven't been able to maintain its original look because of the library's high foot traffic and fluctuations in humidity in the open-air atrium, which have caused areas of the floor to buckle.
Work includes reinforcing the structural flooring, laying upgraded cable while the floor is open, leveling the floor in the Starbucks Teen Center and replacing the existing wood floor. The new floor material is a warm brown shade that is unaffected by humidity, doesn't fade and is easy to clean. It is designed to resemble bamboo.
We expect to start moving books and other items onto mobile carts Monday, Nov. 6. The project will be done in phases, so one part of the floor will be closed at a time. Services either will be relocated or temporarily unavailable. We expect the project will continue through February and all work will occur while the library is closed to the public.
For more information, Ask a Librarian or call the Library at 206-386-4636.