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Local News

Work at library delayed; completion date moved to November

September 22nd, 2011 9:59 pm by Gary B. Gray

A bad batch of carpet has caused renovations at the Johnson City Public Library to be delayed from six to eight weeks.
Library Director Bob Swanay said Thursday that renovations expected to wrap up the end of this month or the beginning of October now will be pushed back to mid-November due to imperfections in the carpet’s patterns and other problems.
The carpet is manufactured by Calhoun, Ga.-based Mowhawk Industries. Johnson City’s Preston Construction Co. is the general contractor.
In July, the library closed for a few days as the initial phase of construction, which included the installation of new power boxes on the floor, kicked in. Renovations and improvements, including the creation of a new media center, public computer center and study rooms, had been moving along as expected until the flaws were detected.
“This kind of leaves us in limbo,” Swanay said. “I think we owe the public an explanation. They need to know.”
Swanay and representatives from the construction company and carpet manufacturer have been discussing replacement of the carpet, which will cover about half of the building’s second floor.
“We have nothing in writing at this time,” he said. “But the carpet was not up to snuff, and the manufacturer will be remaking the carpet. It was special made, so it’s going to take six to eight weeks. The renovations are pretty much complete. We’ve ordered and received new computers, we now have a total of three study rooms instead of just one. But we won’t be able to install the shelving and computers until the new carpet is installed.”
Swanay said the company has been amiable and conscientious in dealing with the snag.
An approximately $120,000 grant received through the Tennessee State Library for Recovery Act Investments will allow some much-needed improvements on the facility’s second floor.
“The new public computer center will provide additional computers in a training-friendly environment,” he said. “There will be a total of about 30 computers. But instead of being scattered around, where people were facing different directions, they now will facing the same direction. The other setup made it virtually impossible to do group training on computers.”
A a big-screen “smart board” will be placed in the middle of a portion of a newly constructed wall in front of the computers where information will scroll or be posted regarding the library. The screen also will be used by trainers.
The media center is located on the other side of the curved wall, and it basically serves as a one-stop shopping center for all things non-print.
Swanay said the media center will include the stocking of eBooks, which are picking up a lot of traction, and the library’s R.E.A.D.S. database is being used increasingly more and works in conjunction with devices such as MP3 players, iPods and Nook Readers.
The library’s Regional eBook and Audiobook Download System allows patrons to download digital versions of print books and digital audio books to their home computers and certain portable audio players.
The JCPL is located at 100 W. Millard St. Visit their website at or call 434-4450.

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