Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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August 15, 2009

Library in midst of moving operations

Main Library remains open as renovation project approaches

Contrary to any public concerns, all branches of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library – including the Main Library – are maintaining regular hours.

The library board is about to embark on a $4.5 million project to renovate the Main Library and construct a new Outreach Building, but those projects haven’t impacted Main Library hours – yet.

Before the renovation can begin, the Main Library will move to a temporary location, most likely Lincoln School.

Library board members are awaiting final word on those arrangements from the Kokomo-Center Schools board.

In the meantime, library board members are poring over bid documents from 12 construction firms, received Monday.

As early as Tuesday, the board could select a low bidder and award a contract, but Friday, board president Susan Luttrell said the board may have to schedule a special meeting, due to the complexity of the bids.

Of the bidders, nine bid on both the Main Library renovation and the Outreach Building, which will be located next to the South Branch library. The other three bidders are only interested in the Outreach Building job.

Bidders were also asked to provide bids on 17 alternates.

Luttrell said the board originally hoped the Main Library could begin moving in mid-September, but is now expecting the move to start in mid-October.

When the Main Library moves to its temporary location, it will be shut for about two weeks. Library director Charles Joray said he expects to operate out of the temporary location for about one year.

Meanwhile, three library departments have either already moved out of the Main Library or soon will.

Last week, the library’s Genealogy Department closed to the public in preparation of a move. The department is set to reopen Aug. 24 in the office plaza on the west side of Webster Street, just south of Southway Boulevard.

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