Renovations to the Mason Library are set to begin this spring. The community requested renovations in a 2018-2019 city survey and the project was announced in 2019.
Mason City Councilmember Rita Vogel said the first phase will address accessibility issues under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Vogel said, “it is important that we are inclusive to all residents we serve in our community and that dedication speaks volumes to the significance of this project.”
The library, at 145 W. Ash St., needs work on plumbing, entrances and more to modernize the building.
“The building is nearly 80 years old and in need of upgrades that will support prolonged use and accessibility for all community members of all abilities. Investment in the building and its use as a library in downtown is consistent with the community vision, policy, and laws adopted through the master plan” said Vogel.
This spring, East Arbor Architects based in East Lansing will ask contractors for bids on doing the work. The first phase is not completely funded yet. Currently, the city has dedicated $275,000 towards the first phase of the project, which is projected to cost $325,000.
The entire project is to cost $1.1 million. Michael Moore, operations director of the Capital Area District Libraries, said “Phase 1 is going to consist of pretty much redesigning the whole first floor. In 2018, we had a discussion about how the Mason library bathrooms were in the basement. So this isn’t accessible to people with a wheelchair. Then, it turned to larger scale renovation.”
Plans for a second step are still unknown. If executed, Phase I Part II would take place in 2022-2023,with an addition of a children’s area and a creation of an event kitchen and another accessible bathroom.
Initial renovations are set to kick off in spring 2021 and be finished by the early part of 2022.