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Library Rework Begins, Slowly

Feb 14, 2015

For the Suffield Observer, March Issue

Ground was broken ceremonially on December 18, but with winter weather and the long lead time for some of the required materials, only a few preliminary tasks have been accomplished in the planned library construction project. The total project will upgrade the building's HVAC and electrical systems and windows, add sprinklers throughout, and add a new handicapped accessible entrance wing.

When it was known that sprinklers were to be installed in the Historical Room, concerns were expressed by the library Board of Trustees and others about the historic material that was first planned to be covered and left in the room during construction. Some historic and historical items had already been removed for the duration of the project to the East Granby Library's Historical Room and the Archives Room of the King House Museum, where they will be available to researchers at certain times.

The contractor made it clear in mid-February that the Historical Room must be completely emptied by mid-March. Plans for that emptying are being discussed.

One task that could be accomplished outside, even in the winter, was the removal of the mature trees that stood along Bank Lane where the hill is to be excavated for the new wing. All six of the trees had been marked for removal last fall, but when the tree crew came for the task on February 12, the removed only the four trees between the library's driveway entrances. The northern-most tree is half on Webster Bank property and plans now call for it to be left in place. The southernmost of the six, along with three evergreens close by have so far escaped the chain saw. Many tree-lovers hope that site plans for the work can be revised to spare some or all of those trees, especially the one next to Bank Lane.

An arborist for Distinctive Tree Care, of South Windsor, sharpens his chain saw during lunch break on February 12 after felling two of the four London plane trees between the town library driveways. Two more came down that afternoon. The two outer trees, of the six planted when the building was built, were not marked for removal.

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