Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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September 14, 2010

Main Library tentatively set for Oct. 7 opening

Oct. 7 is the potential public opening date for the newly renovated Kokomo Main Library.

Underline the word “potential.”

Monday, moving crews began what is expected to be a three-week job, carting materials and furniture from the former Columbian School back to the main building.

But the Kokomo-Howard County Library Board is now looking at another delay to the opening schedule.

One of the focal points of the renovated building is to be a series of etched glass panels, which will partially separate the new children’s section from the rest of the first floor.

The project, paid for from a $17,000 grant from the Howard County Foundation and commissioned with Kokomo artist John Russell, is behind schedule.

Library board president Susan Luttrell said Monday the wrong type of glass was shipped to Russell, and cracked when the artist began his work.

Architect Mike Montgomery told the board the correct type of glass is available, but would take more than a week to ship to Russell unless it was sent in a somewhat unfinished state.

Library officials will meet later this week to decide whether to have the glass shipped as is or wait for the company to polish off some of the rough edges.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking on the board’s plans to open by Oct. 7.

Board members had hoped to re-open the Main Library in August, but those plans were scrapped over concerns about the building’s main staircase.

Luttrell said the original subcontractor responsible for the job was dismissed and another subcontractor brought in to finish the job. She said construction on the staircase had to “start over from square one.”

The staircase is now complete, and the only potential snag to the opening date is the timing of the glass panels. Each panel will depict a significant milestone in Kokomo history, including major inventions like the Haynes automobile and stainless steel.

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