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Alameda’s West End Library to Begin Renovations

By Erica Madison

Under the voter approved Measure O, $1.2 million of tax payer money will be used to renovate Alameda’s West End Library, but with unfortunate compromises along the way.

In November 2000, citizens approved Measure O. This $10.6 million bond measure provides for renovation of the main library and two branch libraries.

The work on renovating the libraries will be done by Noll and Tam Architects.

In 2008 City Council was presented with feasibility measures of renovating the West End and Bay Farm Island Libraries. This report showed a need for larger branches, but due to funding constraints they are only able to renovate the existing branches instead of adding on to the space.

On Tuesday Dec. 15, 2009, architectural consultant Chris Noll presented a report of the proposed budget for renovating the branch libraries to City Council.

Here’s what the citizens of Alameda will receive for renovating the West End Library at $ 1.2 million:

  • Removal and replacement of clay tile roof
  • Repaint and Repair of the building’s exterior
  • Restore original windows
  • Repair and restore bookshelves
  • Restore tables and chairs
  • New service desks, computer counters, checkout counter
  • New cork floors
  • Repair  restrooms

Majority of the budget for work performed inside of the library will be used to make the bathrooms, bookshelves, and computer counters accessible for disabled users.

“The economic crisis has been a god send for this project. We managed to get everything on our list”, said Noll.

Despite Noll’s statement, he has not be able to get everything that was needed for the West End Library. Noll told  City Council several times that the library needed to be extended in order to serve the community. But because  of the limited budget this was not possible.

“We would have loved to double the size of the library”, said Noll.

To Mayor Johnson’s disappointment, Noll informed her that budget constraints also kept him from being able to provide any landscaping.

“Is there a list of things we might do if we have any money left over?” said Mayor Johnson.

Sadly the answer was no. If there is any money left over, Noll is sure that labor costs will eat them up.

Overall though, City Council was pleased with the planned renovation and commended Noll for all his hard work.

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