Library Board looking at options to repair, replace exterior of building

The exterior of the Spring Valley Public Library needs repair or replacement, as the original finish is showing signs of wear and the material used is no longer a common construction material. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Spring Valley Tribune

The Spring Valley Public Library Board of Trustees convened Thursday, June 21, for its monthly meeting, which included discussion about the library’s exterior, summer reading and donations.

Old business brought forward by Spring Valley Public Library Director Jenny Simon encompassed the effort to find a company that can repair the library’s exterior covering, as the material used at the former grocery store’s renovation in 2002 has fallen away.  She noted that she had re-contacted a contractor who had agreed to estimate the cost of the work on the building, and that person informed her that there was no primer put on between the inner layer and the outer layer, meaning that the outer layer is stuck to the inner layer, causing the outer layer to deteriorate.  The missing primer has resulted in holes in the building’s exterior. 

“You could stick a pencil in and pop it out…the lower layer,” said Simon. “The order of events he suggested would be to power-wash the entire building first, and we can do that, and then repair…that’s where he would come in and repair the corners, the edges, where the seams are cracking.  After repairs, he would paint the entire building again to seal everything back together.  He can’t give us a final bid because he isn’t sure how long it will take, and one repair might lead to another thing that he can’t repair…there’s no guarantee that his work won’t come down the next day.” 

Board member Annette Johnson stated that she was surprised that the recommendation wasn’t to remove the entire exterior and replace it. 

Simon replied that she had contacted another contractor to get a bid for steel siding and some brickwork, citing that the aim would be to compare the costs of repair and new steel siding. 

“Four Daughters has steel siding…it wouldn’t look like a pole shed,” she said. “We may be better off doing something that has longer life to it.  I’m, at this point, moving ahead with getting an estimate.  We could fancy it up a bit.” 

Board members concurred that exploring other options, as opposed to simply attempting to repair the building’s exterior, might be more financially prudent and that it would afford a chance to find out whether the holes in the structure have caused any damage. 

“We would be able to use the library building fund, left over from the capital campaign,” Simon noted.

Board member Rita Bezdicek made a motion to further pursue the costs of steel siding, and board member Karen Cleveland seconded.  City representative to the board Jessy Betts inquired whether the board would get bids on removing the original material before siding is put on. 

Simon answered that she thought that she’d know more about it once she had spoken with the contractors.  “I’ll ask what we’re going to have once we remove the (exterior).  There’s a lot of investigating, I think, to do, before we make any decisions,” she added. 

Bezdicek rescinded her motion and then made a new one to explore removing or repairing the exterior or buying a new covering, and Cleveland seconded once more. 

The summer reading program officially began Wednesday, June 13, with juggler Jason Huneke.  The second program was about the voyageurs, and this week’s Wednesday afternoon program will be a special treat, “Minnesota Jack Sparrow,” a very pirate-y presenter.

“The summer reading program is going great.  We had our first performer who was a juggler-unicyclist.  I was really glad the weather was nice out…he had knives and fire and a very tall unicycle.  He definitely kept the kids’ attention.  For him, we had 157 people there,” Simon reported. “For regular reading programs, we actually ran out of reading logs, so we’ve made more.  Both of our performers were through Legacy funds…we’re so very thankful for those funds.  Programs are going great.”

She added that library assistant Jeanette Ramaker has invested quite some time in decorating the library for the program and for everyday atmosphere.  “We have a weaving wall in the young adults’ section using yarn and CDs…it’s really cool,” said Simon.          

The board expressed its appreciation to the Ramaker family for donating a futon for the young adult section, to Corene Hamre for her monetary donation, to the Tyler and Sally Broadwater family for treats and snacks, to Annette and Buster Johnson for a memorial to the SELCO Foundation honoring Bob Blahnik, Joe and Rita Bezdicek for their SELCO Foundation memorial honoring Anita Anderson, to Bruce and Rita Hartert for their SELCO Foundation memorial honoring Sam Blakeslee, Sharon Goede for her memorial in Blakeslee’s honor, and to the Spring Valley Garden Club for its monetary donation.

The Spring Valley Public Library, on East Jefferson Street, is open Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, stop in at the library or call 507-346-2100.