Thursday, January 23, 2020

Renovation begins of Stone Mountain library after delays

Asbestos abatement work has begun at the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library, more than six months after the downtown Stone Mountain library was closed for a $1.5 million renovation.
While a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation was held last July, there had been no obvious signs of work at the branch until this month. The branch was closed on June 15 to prepare for the renovation.

Mike Cooper, president of the Friends of the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library, has sent a letter to members of the Friends group explaining why the work has been delayed.

"After the contractor began initial work last year, workers found more asbestos than originally anticipated. Sanitary sewer lines running to the building were found to be in worse condition than had been thought. In addition, the full extent of mold and mildew issues in the building became apparent," Cooper said.

He explained that county library officials needed to seek a change order for the library renovation contract from DeKalb County's Purchasing and Contracting Department, causing a delay.

"Now that work has begun, it should proceed relatively quickly. County library officials are optimistic that the branch will be open again by the end of the summer," Cooper said in the letter obtained by PRISM DeKalb.
The $1.5 million renovation of the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library uses some of the funds that had been approved by the Board of Commissioners for a proposed new library in Wade Walker Park. There were legal issues surrounding the use of land in the park that had been purchased with federal Land & Water Conservation funds.

At the request of Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted in 2017 to re-direct the $4 million allocated for the ill-fated proposal and use it to improve the aging Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg, Covington and Clarkston libraries.

"This allocation of resources is a sensible use of taxpayer dollars. These enhancements to DeKalb County Libraries will greatly improve the experience of library patrons across the district," Bradshaw said at the time.