RHPL flooring facelift continues

The Rochester Hills Public Library is still in the midst of replacing carpeting and hard surface flooring throughout the building. The work is expected to continue through the end of June.

“Most of the first floor is finished,” said Library Director Christine Lind Hage. “We still have to install walk off carpet at the two public entrances on June 27th and 28th though.” Although one public entrance will be closed each day, the Library will remain open for service.

Over 20 years and millions of feet later, the library flooring was definitely due for an update.

Over 20 years and millions of feet later, the library flooring was definitely due for an update.

The carpeting that is being ripped out is over 20 years old and has had millions of people walk on it. Hage stated, “I was embarrassed when I saw some areas when the furniture had been moved. The carpet was SO worn!” Reaction to the new carpeting has been extremely positive. Library users have commented on the bright colors in the Youth Services Department and the “spring” in the carpet.

Disconnecting every computer in the building and moving every piece of furniture is a huge project, especially when you own 250,000 books! The movers have special equipment that lifts each section of shelving and moves it fully loaded. A short video of the process is available at http://tinyurl.com/newshelvingvideo. Once the new carpet is put down the shelves are moved back into place.

Another big change will be instantly noticed. The Library’s information and checkout desks have been drastically downsized on the first floor. Library Facilities Manager David Gadzinski was responsible for this portion of the project. “We wanted to open up the first floor lobby so we could bring the adult DVD collection downstairs,” said Gadzinski. With new fiction and DVDs now located on the first floor it will be easier for people to come in and pick up popular materials.

The newly emptied space on the second floor will become the home of the library’s eBranch Service Desk. “We have so many people needing help getting signed up for eBooks, downloadable music and movies that we’ve decided to dedicate staff and space to our eBranch,” said Adult Services Manager Rebekah Craft. “We see more and more people including digital materials in their regular reading, listening and viewing; and getting started is tricky for some people so we’re offering this one-on-one service.”

The library lobby awaiting its brand-new carpeting!

The library lobby awaiting its brand-new carpeting!

Even though the second floor carpeting should be complete by June 28th, the work of refreshing the library will continue. “We are reupholstering most of the public furniture this summer as well,” said Hage. One of the big changes will be wood seats in the children’s area. “Fabric seating for very young children can get pretty disgusting with the number of “accidents” they have. We think that having wood seats will allow us to sanitize chairs better in the Youth Services area,” said Hage.

Later this year the Library has plans to replace the carpeting on the main stair case with terrazzo. The current carpet is the fourth installation since Library was opened in 1992. “Terrazzo flooring has a life expectancy of 40 years, but you will see it in much older buildings as well,” said Hage. Terrazzo is a composite made of stone, glass and marble mixed with a cementitious binder. The hard surface is polished and looks like a stone floor.  You will see terrazzo used in large public spaces like the McNamara Terminal at Metro Airport.

“We understand that this refreshment project is challenging for our customers and staff, but we are confident that everyone will love the results,” 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 – 9 Monday through Thursday and 9 – 6 on Fridays and Saturdays.  The Library’s website (www.rhpl.org) has information on how to register for a card and access all the Library’s services.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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