Mason Capital Area District Library to start long-awaited renovations in May

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Julianne Noye

Capital Area District Library located on 145 W. Ash St.

Mason library will be operating under limited services as a long-awaited renovation bid was approved by the City Council in March.

Before, there was only one  bathroom, and it was in the basement. Now there will be two  on the first floor, and the main entrance will be redone. A new ramp will replace the wooden one currently outside the building along with an expansion of the room on the main floor space with added movable furniture to ensure members do not have issues navigating their way around the library.

CADL was created on Jan. 2, 1998, after a vote was passed in 1997 by community leaders to merge the Lansing and Ingham public libraries into a new district library system. There are currently 13 branches serving residents in Ingham and Eaton counties. 

An original proposal was brought to the council in 2019. Reconstruction was going to be divided into three phases to work on different parts of the library. Plans were paused in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the initial budget of $550,000 increased. 

Multiple bids were put out for the original plan but after no contract partnership was reached,  another revision to the plan was made recently. The Moore Trosper Company was approved to start construction during the March  20 city council meeting. Funding is  not to exceed $1,091,255. 

“They will meet the ADA upgrades that need to be done and some other necessary improvements,” said Mason Clerk Sarah Jarvis.  

Scott Duimstra, Executive Director at Capital Area District Libraries says that the renovations will tackle the accessibility issues the library has faced. 

“If you’ve used the library recently coming in from the front doors, the restroom was located downstairs. And if you use the accessible ramp that led you into the reading room, it was really hard to get from that area to the main part of the library so all of those things will be accomplished with the project,” Duimstra said. 

Construction starting May 1 will take place in phases as the main room of the library will be done first. Restrooms will be built within the 1st floor and the ramp outside will be updated. 

 According to the CADL website, residents will still be able to request books on hold, browse and pick up items, go to the Friends of the Mason library bookstore and use printers and copying machines. Dropbox for returns will also be available.

At the end of the first phase in August, that part of the library will be closed as heavier reconstruction will take place tackling roofing and mechanical improvements. During this time limited services will be moved across the street to City Hall. It is not yet confirmed what days and hours those services will be available. 

“This is an historical building so all work is being done with preservation in mind,” said Head Librarian Heather Goupil.

Anticipated completion of the entire building will be at the end of this year. That will be so wonderful for all the people who want to use the library!

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