Brick residents will be rewarded with a newly designed interior to the township's library, county officials announced this week. But the local branch will close for several months during construction.
The interior design project will include new carpeting, furniture, energy-efficient lighting and painting, in addition to reconfiguring space inside the Chambers Bridge Road building, according to a statement from county officials.
"The fixtures in the building are original to the facility, and although they have served us well, they have outlived their useful lifespan," said Ocean County Library Commission Chairman Henry J. Mancini. "We have redesigned the existing floor plan with value in mind to create meeting room and study spaces, a children's story corner, a new teen area, and a conference room that can serve a dual purpose as a computer instruction lab."
The project will be completed without any increase to the library tax, officials said. The renovations were designed by local architects Yezzi Associates of Toms River, and bids for the work are expected to be received by the county Feb. 7 with a contract award scheduled for March 7.
Library officials expect work to get under way in mid-March with a completion date anticipated for late summer.
According to Susan Quinn, Library Director, the branch will be temporarily closed during construction, however the library has put in a request to Brick Township to partner in providing a temporary location for library services. Such a location has not yet been determined.
Meanwhile, Quinn said, the nearby Point Pleasant Borough and Lakewood branches of the library system would serve Brick residents.
In addition to the physical renovations, the Brick library will receive 10 new laptop computers for the new computer lab through federal funding received from the Broadband Technology Opportunity grant and matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the New Jersey State Library. The funds to purchase the computers are aimed toward helping serve those who are unemployed or underemployed and searching for work.
The project about to get underway represents a scaled-down version of a project previously favored by the Library Commission that included a 20,109 square feet expansion to the facility. Following the economic downturn in 2008, those plans were called off.
"Working toward the expansion, our community expressed a desire for more meeting room spaces and computers within the building, as well as a growing interest to accommodate technologies that customers are bringing with them to the branch, such as laptops," said Brick Library Branch Manager Susan Gardiner in a statement.
Some work has already been completed at the Brick branch. A new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was installed at the building the weekend of Oct. 1, 2011.