Progress Continues on Rochester Hills Public Library Expansion

Construction on a 6,600 square foot expansion of the Rochester Hills Public Library began in September and should be complete by the end of April. The main focus of the project is to make the drive-up window and return chutes easier to access. “The old design was difficult to use and people had a tendency to hit the building,” said library director Christine Lind Hage. “The south edge of the building has been pulled out so customers will approach the service window in the same manner they would at a drive-up restaurant.”

A close-up of the new addition at the RHPL. Photo credit: the Rochester Hills Library Facebook page

A close-up of the new addition at the RHPL.
Photo credit: the Rochester Hills Library Facebook page

“We have installed two large metal book returns outside of the library’s west entrance,” said Ginger Olson, Head of Circulation Services. The temporary return box will be open 24/7 during construction. Library users are encouraged to enter the library’s west parking lot down by the Rotary Gateway Park, the press release stated. Drivers should turn right in the northern most lane, which will provide easy access to the book return from the driver’s side of the car. The inside book returns will remain in service throughout the construction project.

Construction staging has taken up a portion of the library’s south parking lot making it challenging at times to find parking spaces.  The post office offered a portion of their south lot, along University, not in front of the post office for public parking.

The first floor of the new addition is already blocked in and the second floor block work should be done by December 20. Work will continue throughout the winter, with most of the construction being completed by mid-March. The library’s south parking lot will be repaved as soon as the paving companies open in the spring. For the remainder of the construction period, services and collections within the building will remain undisturbed.

The new first floor addition will house an automated materials handling system that will automatically check in returned library materials and then sort them by collection (fiction, non-fiction, audiovisual, etc.). The equipment will be delivered in mid-March and should be operational by the end of April. The new second floor addition will be used by the Friends of the Library for their book sales. “Book sales generated over $100,000 of the $175,000 the Friends gave to the library in 2014,” said Hage. “Fortunately the sales continue to grow in size and revenue, so we needed to provide more space.” The plan is to hold future book sales on the second floor. This will most likely start in September.

The architectural firm of TMP Associates, Inc. of Bloomfield Hills has designed the project, which is being constructed by Frank Rewold & Son of Rochester. Both of these firms worked on the original building in 1992, as did library director Christine Lind Hage. “The 1992 project was a wonderful experience and the building has served us well since then.  We’ve saved money over the years to make this improvement so it was not necessary to go to taxpayers for more money,” said Hage.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and three blocks east of Main Street. The Library is open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 – 6 p.m. on Sundays. The Library’s website ( has information on how to register for a card and access all the Library’s services.

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