By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Patrons of Norman Public Library’s main branch, 225 N. Webster Ave., can appreciate the new heating and cooling system in place. Gone are the days of freezing cold and smothering hot temperatures resulting from the old, faulty system.
“The HVAC took a lot longer than we anticipated,” Norman City Clerk Brenda Hall said. “It is a very complex system.”
That $1.2 million project was paid out of the city’s capital budget and is now complete. While the Pioneer Library System pays for staff, books and other elements of the collection such as CDs, DVDs and a virtual library, the city provides the facility and pays for maintenance and upkeep.
Next on the list of improvements to be made is the replacement of the 818 light fixtures in the library.
“We spend 10 to 20 hours a month replacing bulbs over there,” Hall said. “Every fixture will be removed and replaced. They have T-12 bulbs that are being phased out. They will be replace with fixtures using T-8 lamps.”
In addition, all of the relays and switches for the lighting system are being replaced. Hall said a request for bids went out last week. Those will be opened Oct. 18, and the Norman City Council will likely award a contract for the lighting job at the Nov. 13 meeting.
“That’s the soonest we can get it on,” Hall said.
The library will remain open the entire time, which will slow the work down a little but will allow patrons to continue library usage without interruption. After the lighting is replaced, new flooring will replace the old, stained carpet.
“The flooring is the last thing we want to do because we don’t want them in there doing those other projects on top of new flooring,” Hall said.
The flooring will be paid for by a $280,000 bond. The library also received a new $750,000 roof in 2010 as a capital budget project.
Hall said the city had hoped to have the lighting replaced by the end of the summer, but the complexity of the HVAC project caused it to string out longer than anticipated.
She said library patrons can expect new lighting in the coming spring. In the meantime, the city will continue to replace bulbs. Some temporary lighting was added in one section to improve that area for patrons until the replacement project is complete.
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