Sandstoning of library steps delayed to mid-September
People will have to wait a little longer to try out the new front steps at the Old Colorado City Library.
According to Branch Manager Julianne Rist, the hope now is that private contractors will apply a coat of the historic sandstone over the recently poured concrete steps by mid-September.
In the meantime, library patrons are asked to keep entering the facility from the side (west) door, as they have since July 18, when the previous steps were removed.
The hope at that time had been to have the coating done by early August, but the sandstone that was ordered from an in-state quarry came in undersized. As a result, a new batch had to be ordered, Rist explained.
“Patrons are wondering why the steps aren't in,” she said. “They saw the stone in the parking lot, and said, 'Good, it'll be installed,' but we couldn't do it yet.”
Although from a distance the new concrete steps look usable, they are not the right height or width. That's because they were designed to have the sandstone coating (four inches wide) on their tops and fronts, Rist pointed out.
Sandstone was chosen because the original steps were made of that material after millionaire benefactor Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 to build the library in 1904.
The step work is part of the $450,000 Phase 1 of the $1.7 million library restoration project, which started last spring and has also involved replacements or repairs of windows and doors, as well as repairs of cracks in the brick exterior. Other than the steps, the Phase 1 work is nearly complete. “The rest is to the point where they're just finishing up little details,” Rist noted.
Plans and cost estimates are to be fine-tuned this fall for Phase 2, which will include upgrades to the building's electrical, plumbing, heating, ceiling and roof.
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