Ames Public Library relocates for renovation project

Kari Paige

After receiving approval for renovation and expansion, the Ames Public Library has closed for temporary relocation.

The library will be closed until Dec. 10, after it has moved to the temporary location in Lincoln Center between Hobby Lobby and Hy-Vee, where a book store called  Hastings used to be located. 

“[The temporary location] is quite a bit smaller, but we are really happy that we will still have a full service library,” said Lynne Carey, interim director of the Ames Public Library. “We are moving our entire collection, and we’ll still have amenities like a little coffee shop and some leisurely reading areas, and we’ll still be able to do story time for kids and have a computer lab and those kinds of things.”

Amenities that were in the Douglas location will still be recreated in the temporary space. 

Some of those include the coffee shop, story time for kids, laptop use and the book store, Literary Grounds, which will continue its book sales in an alternate location. 

All of the materials, such as the books, CDs, DVDs and more, still will be available for checkout.

The library expects to be in the temporary location for 18 to 20 months. Carey said it could possibly be up to two years.

The library is expected to open again at its permanent location sometime in summer 2014.

The renovations at the Douglas Avenue location will rework the southwest corner, currently a vacant lot, and build a new two story addition. 

The ground level of this addition will have youth and teen services and the second story will have general/adult services.

Both levels will host plenty of meeting room space, and the library will be expanding from 48,000 square feet to 77,455 square feet.

The renewal of the main section will allow for more shelf space, advanced children services, improved safety and security, enlarged meeting spaces and better accessibility to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The library has chosen to keep these parts of the library but to add on to them like they did to the 1985 addition. 

Alos, the 1985 addition will be expanded to a second story.

The Ames City Council approved the plans back in October, and renovation are set to begin in mid-January. 

Nov. 15 was the library’s last day open. The library will not be able to offer services for two to three weeks as they move to the temporary location. The help of plenty of volunteers and staff members, however, has put the move from the Douglas location ahead of schedule by approximately a week.

Nov. 15 was also the day bids were opened for construction companies to place their bids. Eight bids were received, and the lowest was submitted by Adolfson & Peterson (A&P)/Samuels, a Joint Venture. The Samuels Group partners with A&P, for larger projects.

“We’re very excited about being able to continue the public work there in the Ames area,” said Kurt Verner, vice president the Samuels Group, “and we are looking forward to it being a successful project.”

The architect’s construction estimated the project at $14.1 million. 

On Dec. 3, the building was held over to an abatement specialist in order to ensure the removal of lead paint and asbestos for a safe working environment.