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Rogue River library expansion delayed two months

ROGUE RIVER ' Patrons eager to enjoy an 11,460-square-foot expansion of the library will have to wait a few more weeks, according to Cubit Construction contractor Rod Lowe.

Lowe said architectural glitches, parking lot change orders and some graffiti damage added two more months to the original nine-month construction schedule.

The biggest challenge was having to fix the heating duct design. The blueprints didn't allow enough room for the heating ducts. It took a few tries to get it right, Lowe said.

The parking lot, which was not originally on the project schedule, was later added and is currently graded and ready for installation. We're all prepped, said Lowe. We're just waiting for the weather to give us a break.

Some teen graffiti on the new sidewalks and curbing also created a minor delay while the county and the contractor negotiated a solution. Lowe said the county originally wanted him to repour the cement. But he said he worked with the county for the sake of the project and the youthful offenders.

We did some sandblasting on the sidewalk and got most of the graffiti off, Lowe said. That lessened the charges against the kids because more than &

36;1,000 in damage would have made the charges not misdemeanors.

Interior punch-list items, parking lot paving and some landscaping aside, Lowe said the project is nearly completed.

Nothing we're doing or are going to be doing will interfere with the library staff getting ready to open, Lowe said. We're done inside.

Lowe said the Rogue River library staff is busily setting up shelving and putting furniture in the contemporary library.

Tone-on-tone green painted walls are accented with purple. New furniture is ample and proportioned for comfort. And the library is triple in size over the old tome-holder, offering two study rooms, a periodical room, staff work rooms and new books and computers.

A temporary library was available for patrons at 211 Pine St. until Friday. However, the Rogue River branch will be closed for most purposes until February except for the library system's online do-it-yourself reserve services.

This service enables patrons to reserve books from any Josephine or Jackson county library, as well as from Rogue River Community College library. Patrons can access the service at .

The new library is expected to be open for business by Feb. 3. A grand opening party is scheduled for the afternoon of Feb. 23.

The expansion project was funded by a &

36;38.9 million bond measure passed in May 2000 which will create 14 new or remodeled libraries in Jackson County.

Sanne Specht is a free-lance writer living in Rogue River. Reach her at RogueRiverGal@aol.com.