The workers building the new Francis Branch have progressed quickly and the branch staff are well into their preparations for the big move.
This is the plan for now. Dustin, the construction manager, expects the inside work to be substantially complete by the end of March. After this, there’s a few weeks of touch ups, last minute fixes and tweaks, and then the building will be ready for shelving and furniture. If all this goes well, you can expect the current building to close in early May. At that point, we’ll move into the new building and have a big sale of anything we don’t need from the old building. Once the building is clear, the crews will scrap it and roll out our new parking lot in this space. Our best guess for the reopening is August.
Some of us were in the new Francis Branch last Tuesday. The crews were spraying the ceiling with a treatment that will help reduce noise, so the place looked pretty misty, but we could still see solid progress. Cabinets are mostly in. The trim is beautiful. The restrooms are nearly done and most of the fixtures are in. The stone masons are done with the fireplace–and it looks striking. The air handling system is handling air. It all looks great.
In a little over a month, we’ll move to the next phase. You, the public, will have the opportunity to see the other completed SJCPL locations while we are closed. A few weeks after we close, the new branch in German Township will open, and you’ll definitely want to be there for that. While we are closed, the Francis Branch staff will prepare our collection for reopening and work at other SJCPL locations to learn how to operate the new self-check machines and the materials handling book sorter. We’ll all meet back in time to prepare for the grand re-opening. We hope you’ll join us when we re-open. Look in this space for more news as we have it.
In meantime, why not consider a donation to SJCPL for our matching Leighton Award grant? Any amount will help as we retool for the future. Thank you.