Library to get long-awaited upgrades

Libraries Director Cindy Cleary remembers sitting in on the first meeting to discuss renovations at Brand Library and Art Center in 1984.

More than two decades later, the renovations are inching closer to reality after the City Council on Tuesday approved plans and specifications for the nearly $7-million project.

“We’re really thrilled this is moving along,” Cleary said. “It’s long overdue.”

The art and music library — which is listed in the Glendale Register of Historic Places — is set to get a revamp that includes structural, plumbing, electrical and landscaping improvements, as well as new furniture and handicap accessibility upgrades.

The project will also restore historical features of the 1904 building, which is often used in promotional brochures for the city, Cleary said.

“It deserves all the attention it can get,” she said. “It represents Glendale’s history.”

The library last saw extensive renovations in 1969. Since then it’s only had routine maintenance, according to a city report.

In the 1990s, a vision for the library’s renovation got into full swing, but funding limitations slowed the course. Officials first discussed more extensive renovations, but those have been whittled down over the years to meet budget constraints, Cleary said.

“There’s been limited funds, but now we’re there,” she said.

Construction work is set to begin April 2012 and be completed by July 2013.

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