The upper level of the library was renovated during 2010 and early 2011. The first objective was to replace a nearly 40-year-old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system as well as the lighting, in order to make the library more energy efficient and more comfortable. In addition, the project expanded the space for books, audio-visual materials and computers. The renovated space also includes a computer lab and a room for teens. The magazine room was moved to the upper level, and the local history room was moved to the lower level.
A skylight was added to the center of the upper level, and the lights installed on the upper level now have sensors that turn them off and on based on how much light comes in from the outside, saving energy and further reducing the library's electricity bills.
This project is the second of three planned phases of renovating the library. In 2005-2006, the parking-lot level was expanded and renovated. At some point in the future the library expects to renovate the lower level in order to provide more room for Children's Services, but this will not happen for several years.
The renovation of the library's upper level is expected to cost about $2 million. This money will come from the library's Building Fund and two endowment funds. Some money from the library's general fund may be used for other expenses such as furniture.
The Cuyahoga Falls Library Board of Trustees paid CBLH Design $177,458 to create the architectural designs and to monitor the upper level improvements. CBLH also designed the library's new entrance.
The Library's Board of Trustees received 26 bids for construction, and awarded contracts for the following bids:
- A $554,700 bid to DSV Builders for general trades, acoustic ceiling and flooring work, and a $13,275 bid to DSV for a center skylight
- A $59,000 bid to SONA Construction for glass and glazing work
- An $861,950 bid to Fowler Electric for plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical work, and a $57,000 bid and a $68,000 bid for HVAC controls
- A $95,676 bid to Fire Foe Corporation for a sprinkler system
Building Fund, Graefe Fund, Endowment Funds
The Building Fund consists largely of donations, including $230,700 from Leo Gorup in 2007 and $239,500 from Helen Painter in 2008. The Carl and Mary Graefe Fund (approximately $122,500) and the Endowment Fund (approximately $48,500, including many smaller donations) will also be used to pay for the project.
The Building Fund was also used for Phase 1 of the renovation, which was completed in 2006.
The project included a number of initiatives that will reduce electrical consumption and increase comfort, as well as reducing air pollution and minimizing climate change.
- Increase and improve insulation in all the renovated areas.
- Greatly improve the efficiency of our heating and cooling system, including air flow and ventilation.
- Update heating and cooling controls so that we can automatically reduce heating or cooling or shut the system down at night and turn it back on in the morning.
- Significantly increase the use of natural light through a new center skylight, the windows of the old Third Street entrance (now teen room), and the windows of the northeast side of building (formerly a staff workroom).
- Use daylight harvesting, in which sensors turn lights off and on, depending on the amount of daylight available, near the north and south windows as well as the central area near the new skylight.
- Use the latest, most efficient generation of florescent lights and ballasts.
- Use motion controls on lights in most rooms to turn lights off if no one is in the room.
With preliminary measures taken between 2004 and 2009, we were able to reduce our electrical consumption by 3.5%. In the first six months after the 2010-2011 renovation, our electrical consumption was reduced by 37%. The building is all electric, and in 2009 the library paid $90,000 for electricity, so these energy-saving measures are saving a significant amount of taxpayer money.
Other Energy-Saving and Environmental Initiatives
- We installed low flow and automatic shut-offs on water outlets to reduce our water bills.
- In construction we reused as much as we could, which saved money and reduced consumption. We reused shelving, some furniture, and other items.
- Contractors were obligated to recycle all metal from demolition.
- We also used recycled content in many areas: carpet squares, furniture, etc.