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 Grosse Pointe Public Library Board of Trustees President Abigail Ward, left, and Library Director Jessica Keyser, right, address the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony June 30.

Grosse Pointe Public Library Board of Trustees President Abigail Ward, left, and Library Director Jessica Keyser, right, address the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony June 30.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Library renovations begin at Central Branch

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 7, 2020

 A rendering of the Grosse Pointe Public Library’s Central Branch, on display at the groundbreaking ceremony, depicts the renovations.

A rendering of the Grosse Pointe Public Library’s Central Branch, on display at the groundbreaking ceremony, depicts the renovations.

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Construction has begun at the Grosse Pointe Public Library’s Central Branch to build a new outdoor community plaza with free Wi-Fi and to renovate the front porch to add an outdoor seating area.

On June 30, the library board of trustees and staff held a groundbreaking to kick off the phase one renovations at the Central Branch. Phase one plans also include enhancements at the Ewald Branch in Grosse Pointe Park and the Woods Branch in Grosse Pointe Woods.

All three branches are undergoing renovations based on a “Space Needs & Capital Assessment” study that library officials conducted over several months with krM Architecture, Plante Moran Cresa, and livingLab Landscape Architecture.

Board of trustees President Abigail Ward, while addressing the crowd in attendance, said that in 2017, a strategic plan called for improving the interiors and exteriors of the library branches. After a one-year critical needs assessment, the building improvements were determined.

The Ewald Branch phase one projects will include refreshing the interior finishes and lighting, and improving site lines and safety at the main entrance, circulation and reference desks. The plan also includes improving acoustics throughout the building.

Over at the Woods Branch, there are plans as part of phase one to enhance the entrance lighting, improve the stairwell to make it safer for use and add a public entrance with a canopy on the Mack Avenue side of the building.

Quinn Evans, which has an office in Detroit, is the architect for the projects. McCarthy & Smith Inc., based in Farmington Hills, is the construction company. Giffels Webster, with offices in Detroit, Washington Township and Birmingham, is the engineering firm.

Library representatives are looking forward to the changes.

“Today is a momentous day as we break ground on our new plaza and kick off renovations at Woods and Ewald,” Library Director Jessica Keyser said. “This project has been a dream for over three years. I am thrilled we are able to move ahead (with) this project.”

“I think it’s going to look absolutely great,” said Grosse Pointe Woods City Council member and Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library President Vicki Granger, who attended the groundbreaking. “I think it will be a nice community gathering space.”

According to a library press release, the total budget for the phase one improvements is approximately $2 million funded through capital reserves and donations. The complete Space Needs & Capital Assessment is available on the library website at grossep ointelibrary.org.    

Library Marketing and Programming Coordinator Mary Ann Short said the Central Branch phase one project is expected to be completed in eight weeks. The Woods phase one renovation projects are ready to start; the Ewald projects have not yet begun.

Because of COVID-19, all three library branches have been closed since mid-March. The library is offering curbside service. Residents can place holds on the items they want online. When those items are available, residents will get a notice to come to their branch to pick up the items curbside.  

To put items on hold, customers also can call the library reference hotline from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at (313) 389-6212. Residents can call the library to place something on hold or use the online catalog.

The Central Branch is located at 10 Kercheval Ave. in Grosse Pointe Farms. The Ewald Branch is located at 15175 E. Jefferson Ave. in Grosse Pointe Park. The Woods Branch is located at 20680 Mack Ave. in Grosse Pointe Woods.

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