The Library Receives a Facelift

The renovation of the New Port Richey Public Library is underway, and we’re documenting the progress as we go! Learn more about the project’s progress as we continue to update this post!

NPR council approves library improvement funds

Originally published in the Suncoast News, written by Eric Horchy

The city’s long-delayed plan to renovate its municipal library is no longer on the back burner.

At its March 2 regular meeting, the City Council unanimously approved a $2,003,310 agreement with St. Petersburg-based Hennessy Construction Services to implement the Library Improvement Project.

“We have hired Hennessy Construction Services to work with the city on a contractor-at-risk basis, which means they’re willing to afford the city a guaranteed maximum price on the project,” City Manager Debbie Manns stated during the meeting.

“I’m glad to see this finally getting underway,” Mayor Rob Marlowe said. “We promised the library folks we’d do this ages ago.”

The current Library Improvement Project has been worked on by city staff since 2017. Improving the facility was also part of the library’s 2017-2022 long range plan, which reported that “the library building is well beyond capacity.” It was also noted in the five-year plan that several improvement strategies had been discussed and tabled in previous capital improvement plans and long-term plans.

The City Council was presented with much of the roughly $2 million plan in October 2018. Manns explained that earlier studies and the current plan, designed by Chicago-based Williams Architects, confirmed all future, upgraded accommodations could be housed in the current building by using space more efficiently.

“This project, in large part, calls for interior renovations to the first and second floors of the building,” Manns said.

Renovations are expected to take roughly seven months to complete, according to Hennessy Construction Services President Mark Stalker.

When asked by council member Chopper Davis how patrons will be affected by construction work, Manns said there will be limited closures to sections of the facility. “We’re going to try and accommodate the process by just moving around sections of the building at a time.”

The New Port Richey Public Library is approximately 15,000 square feet in size and has provided services to the community in its current state since March 1991. It was named the Florida Library of the Year in 2006 and received a four-star ranking on the 2013 America’s Star Libraries list, complied by the national publication Library Journal.

The library celebrated its 100th birthday on Dec. 22, 2019. Library staff and supporting groups, such as the Friends of the New Port Richey Public Library, were forced to cancel many, but not all, celebratory events and activities related to the centennial because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remodel Plans

View the plans for the library’s remodel, set to be completed before the end of the year!

A Smashing Good Time

Library staff joined the Friends of the NPR Library for a smashing good time as the library demo began! Armed with sledgehammers and safety goggles, folks went to work demolishing the second floor drywall.

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