WESTFIELD – Jayne Mulligan and Linda Saltus, board members of the Westfield Athenaeum, gave a status report on the building project to the Community Preservation Committee on Thursday. They said the asbestos has been removed, and they are in the process of design work for new sprinklers. The installation work will begin next week, and is expected to last six weeks.
The asbestos remediation and sprinkler installation required major moves for the staff and materials within the building, according to a progress report given to the committee. The remediation consisted of 800 feet of heating pipes and fittings in the basement, asbestos insulation in the ceilings of the Reference Room, Technical Services area, and the 1966 addition of the Children’s Library and the removal of the asbestos floor tile, mastic and ceiling insulation in the back hallway. Additional asbestos tile not in the contract was identified underneath the wall to wall carpet in the Boys & Girls Library. The total cost for remediation was over $260,000. The abatement was completed on November 11.
The library contracted out for a building-wide sprinkler system, and a 6” water pipe from Court Street that will serve the system was completed in December. Once the sprinkler work is completed, the work will commence to restore and rebuild the spaces.
Saltus said in addition to the $850,000 awarded by the CPC, they have received a grant of $40,000 from the Beveridge Family Foundation, $25,000 from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and have raised an additional $135,000 from a community campaign mailing sent out on Dec. 2, for a total of $1.1 million raised.
In addition, Saltus said they will be holding a “Love your Library” month in February.
Committee members congratulated them on the success of their mailing. Mulligan said personal donations ranged from $5 to $31,000, and “lots in between.” They said the mailing only went out to between 1,300 and 1,400 residents.
“It was all kick started by your $850,000,” Saltus said. “We’re getting there, baby steps.”