Friday, February 10, 2012

How's the Weather in the Library?

Working thermostats!
What a mild Winter we have had! Even inside the Library! The repairs to the library's HVAC systems continue. Thank goodness we have had mild (more or less) days, as we had no air flow during December while the work was ongoing in the attic.
Ductwork was repaired and cabling was installed - as well as actual working thermostats! For years, the 27 - yes twenty-seven! - thermostats in the building were useless. Our only control for cool air was turning the chiller on and off. The heat could be somewhat controlled by adjusting the boiler water temperature. This was assuming the chiller or boiler were working - not a safe assumption much of the time.
We are awaing the installation of the new energy efficient boiler and the repairs to the chiller (the compressor and fans). All repairs should be completed by the end of March!
So, to celebrate, we are planning a big party! National Library Week is April 8-14, so look for updates for when our big "Come see our new Thermostats!" Open House is scheduled (probably during that week)!

Grant Sign in front of Library
Many of you wondered why we went so many years without repairing the system. It was because this was a very costly project, and the funds were simply not available. The total cost of the project was $206,634. Fortunately for us, the President and Congress passed the Stimulus Bill (officially the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act or ARRA) with monies allocated for energy efficiency projects. Thanks to Southwest Mississippi Planning and Adams County, we applied for and received a stimulus grant for $162,700. We still needed more to complete the project, so we asked, and Adams County and the City of Natchez each contributed an additional $18,000. The Library made up the difference of about $8000.
Then, on to the next project..... Anyone who has driven, walked, jogged, or passed by the library can attest that the building is in need of major painting! The shutters need to be repaired, and there is some exterior work needing to be accomplished.
And, even though the City of Natchez owns the library building, I made a deal. If the City would put up the funds (to match what the County agreed to pay) to get the repairs to the HVAC system complete, we would raise the funds to get the building painted and repaired. The City came out on the better end of that deal!
A friend of mine (a library director in another county) held a VERY successful fundraiser, which I plan to copy. It involves a party and wine - and should fit right in here in Natchez! Look for news to come on these plans.
In the meantime, rest assured that you don't have to call ahead to find out whether you need to dress in your snowsuit or your bikini in order to visit the library!

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