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Despite budget cuts, Park Ridge library will replace lights

The Park Ridge Public Library | Jennifer Johnson/Sun-Times Media
The Park Ridge Public Library | Jennifer Johnson/Sun-Times Media

The Park Ridge Public Library is moving ahead with a project to replace lights on the building’s second floor.

The Library Board voted 6-1 on Feb. 18 to approve a $102,527.00 bid to replace the light fixtures in the Readers Services Area, which consists largely of the north half of the second floor.

The project will begin “sometime in the spring” and will be done in increments so the floor will remain open to patrons, said Library Executive Director Janet Van De Carr.

The work is expected to take about two weeks, she said.

The current lights were installed in the early 1980s, Van De Carr said, and the library “can no longer get the parts to repair them as they fail. It was time to remove them and relight the area.”

The light replacement comes as the library has announced $433,000 in budget cuts, the implementation of a non-resident fee for computer usage and the closure of the library on Sundays during summer months.

Van De Carr said the six-figure project is being done now because the lighting levels are lower than they should be and because the age of the fixtures makes repairs difficult.

“They’re on more than 12 hours a day, and they’re more than 30 years old,” she said. “They’re just not providing the light we need in that area.”

Library Trustee Robert Trizna voted against the light replacement. Trustees Joe Egan and Dorothy Hynous were absent from the Feb. 18 meeting.

Another capital project planned at the library this year involves ongoing window replacement, which is being done in phases over several years. In the next budget year, which begins May 1, $75,000 has been budgeted toward replacement, Van De Carr said.

“The seals are failing on all the windows, so we have to actually take the windows out, put in the new sealant, and then put them back in,” Van De Carr explained. Wood damaged by water will also be repaired.

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