London’s Central Library begins a major overhaul on Tuesday, and will be shut down for the next 2 weeks.
It’s part of an 11-month renovation that started earlier this month.
Julie Gonyou is the manager for the project and the library’s senior director of administration and special projects.
She said the branch will be able to stay open through most of the work, but needs to be closed until June 3rd as they take out the 27-year-old escalators.
“As you know, we’re replacing those with stairs,” Gonyou said. “The closure is required to physically remove the escalators and to bring in and install the structural steel required to build the stairs.”
The escalators were a package deal for the library as they took over the former Hudson’s Bay department store in 2002.
“They are about 27 years old. They have reached the end of their useful lives,” Gonyou said. “We were faced with the decision whether to keep up with constant repairs and replacement parts for them or to move forward with stairs. Our business case proved that stairs were worthwhile.”
The Pop Up branch across from the Bulk Barrel will offer most of the same services, with a selection of items available to borrow, a spot to return materials and pay fines and fees, and a limited number of computer stations and a printer.
The first phase of the 11 month long renovation will see the creation of a light-filled magazine and newspaper lounge, a ‘flexi’ space where the coffee shop area used to be, and the installation of stairs in place of escalators.
More information about the renovations can be found on the library’s website.