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Library to move to U.S.-23 for about a year

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Brian Stricker, project manager with Corrigan Moving Systems, on Friday packs library books in preparation for the Alpena County Library renovation.

ALPENA — The Alpena County Library will move for about one year into the Bear Point Plaza shopping center between JOANN Fabric and Craft and Big Lots along U.S.-23 South.

The library today was in the process of moving its collection to the new location, where it will stay while is downtown building is renovated. Library officials hope to open the temporary location by Labor Day, although Assistant Library Director Jessica Luther said that date is tentative.

Employees with the Farmington Hills-based Corrigan Moving Services, which Luther said specializes in moving libraries, began packing up the library last weekend.

The movers on today were still packing up what little remained of the books, dismantling shelves, and transporting some of the collection to the new location. The library has about 70,000 books, Luther said.

Luther said library officials need to get set up before they can check out books and get staff trained on procedures for curbside pickup.

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Mike Newhouse, supervisor with Corrigan Moving Systems, on Friday dismantles library shelves in preparation for the Alpena County Library renovation.

“Our staff has been very grateful the community has been patient,” she said.

At about 6,000 square feet, the new location is just a fraction of the size as the library on 1st Avenue, Luther said. She estimates 20% to 30% of the library’s collection will be available to the public at the new location, with many of the items being the library’s most popular.

The library will continue to add new items to the collection while at the new location, she said.

The downtown building is closing temporarily so asbestos abatement tied to the library’s $3.7 million renovation can begin. The renovation will modernize the library with new entryways, more open floor plans, and more handicap accessibility.

Meridian Contracting Services have been hired to complete the renovation.

The project was made possible after Alpena County voters renewed a 0.25-mill, 20-year property tax expected to generate a touch over $232,000 a year to pay for the renovation. That tax costs the owner of a $100,000 house about $12.50 a year.

Library officials hope the renovation will be complete next summer.

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