New Hilltop library put on hold, Beechview will be next renovation project
Continuing the plan to make all of its library facilities accessible, comfortable and responsive to community needs, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has set a timeline to significantly upgrade several of its neighborhood locations.
The improvements are part of a multi-year plan to equip all Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh buildings with heating and cooling systems and make sure each is fully accessible as well as to provide much-needed facility updates.
“One of the goals of our Strategic Plan is to provide user-centered experiences in all of our buildings,” explains Mary Frances Cooper, the library’s president and director. “By making all of our facilities accessible and comfortable, integrating technology and providing flexible spaces, we can offer the programs, collections and technology that users in each community need.”
The library is currently working on two projects – upgrades to CLP – West End, 47 Wabash Street, and, in partnership with the Heinz Endowments and Action Housing, relocating CLP-Hazelwood, 4901 Second Avenue, to a larger mixed-use space in the neighborhood. Both projects are expected to be completed in early 2014.
In addition, the Facilities Committee of the Library’s Board of Trustees has recommended CLP-Beechview, 1910 Broadway Avenue, as the Library’s next capital project. Planning for the project will begin in fall of 2013 with renovations to be complete in late 2014. As with all of its capital projects, the library will host a series of planning meetings with the community to gather input on the project.
“Making CLP - Beechview our next project allows us to make progress on our goal to fully renew all of our public library buildings,” stated Ms. Cooper. “This also gives us additional time to further collaborate with community and political leaders in the Hilltop neighborhoods to consider options for how we can best serve the Hilltop communities of Pittsburgh.”
For the past several years, the library has worked with communities in the Hilltop areas to consider a combined location for CLP – Carrick, 1811 Brownsville Road, and CLP – Knoxville, 400 Brownsville Road. After three years of community meetings, library user surveys and a real estate review by internal staff and third party experts, a location has not been found that is available and appropriate for library and community needs.
The library plans to explore alternatives to a combined location and is developing timelines and requirements for the scenario of two capital projects on the Hilltop instead of one.
Since 2003, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has constructed two locations, fully renovated eight libraries and partially renovated three facilities, including the Main Library in Oakland as part of its first-ever capital campaign. The renovations have revitalized communities in many ways, making a significant economic impact on local businesses and increasing literacy as community members find unique spaces for children and teens, open meeting areas, well-lit and comfortable areas for browsing and reading, computer and Internet access and wireless connectivity.