We are thrilled to let our dedicated (and patient!) patrons know that PPL’s Burbank Branch will reopen on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.
Our Burbank Branch, which has been closed since last fall, has undergone a renovation to address ergonomic and accessibility issues and to make this small but high-use space more open and flexible. The project received a $300,000 CIP allocation from the City of Portland, and the Burbank community supported the project with gifts totaling nearly $100,000. This public/private funding partnership is always the key to the Library’s success, as the City supports our infrastructure needs while all the enhancements that make your library experience so special are made possible through private gifts. We could not have done this without the generous support of the neighbors and patrons who stepped up to support this renovation financially – thank you!
While we will officially open our doors on Aug. 23, we want to particularly invite everyone to our Burbank Branch Open House on Friday, Sept. 9 from 3-6pm. We hope you’ll join us that afternoon for some refreshments, a chance to reconnect with staff and other patrons, and plenty of fun in the new space! Keep an eye out for continuing event details on PPL’s Facebook page.
We want to particularly thank the PPL staff for their work behind the scenes: our Burbank team, who served as familiar faces for our patrons who visited the Main Library or Riverton; our team at the Main Library who not only helped welcome Burbank patrons but also helped ensure collection items got where they needed to go during the branch closure; and our maintenance crew, who did yeoman’s work on physically moving the collection as well as doing so many critical pieces to ensure the space was ready.
We want to give special recognition our fantastic team at our Riverton Branch, who – together with the Burbank staff – covered a schedule that nearly doubled the usual open hours at Riverton to accommodate a significant increase in patron demand. Now that Burbank is set to reopen, we will rebalance our Riverton hours.
The Burbank Branch holds a special place in the heart of the Deering Center neighborhood. We cannot wait to welcome you all back!
Getting ready for the Burbank Branch reopening! (Photo courtesy of Scott Simons Architects)
As part of the planned renovation of the facility that houses both our Peaks Island branch and the attached community room, we at Portland Public Library (PPL) were delighted to work with the Peaks Environmental Action Team (PEAT) and Holbrook Engineering to develop an Energy Model for the building.
Holbrook Engineering developed an energy model which can now be used to inform the final selection of building envelope choices (walls, windows, floors, ceilings, insulation) as well as choices of mechanical equipment (heating, cooling, ventilation), and lighting choices.
Peaks Island-based artist Marty Braun worked with the Library to develop a poster illustrating the decision factors that were brought forward in the energy model. The poster is now hanging in the lobby of the Peaks Island community center and appears below. A larger copy of the poster can be downloaded here.
As part of the PPL/PEAT collaboration, an energy monitor has been purchased that shows show real-time electrical use of the facility. Installation of this monitor is nearly complete in a temporary location, pending re-installation in a permanent location after renovations are complete. There will ultimately be a small display that will illustrate the components of the building envelope, and we look forward to working with PEAT to develop educational programming related to this Energy Model and the energy efficiencies that become part of the renovation.
As we enter the phase of the project where we can begin to formalize renovation plans and make choices around energy use improvements, the Library/City Planning Committee looks forward to using this data to make the informed decisions for the renovation.
We know many PPL patrons are eager for our Burbank Branch to reopen – we are, too! We will set the reopening date very soon, and we look forward to announcing it as soon as possible. We can’t wait to celebrate with you once we are back in the building.
Below are responses to the most frequent questions we are hearing about the current status of the renovation project. If you have feedback or other questions we can answer, please call PPL’s Administration Offices at 207-871-1700 ext. 756.
I see lots of activity at the Burbank Branch site. How is it going?
We have encountered only minimal construction delays, so we have been able to stay on schedule pretty well. As you can see from these photos, the new elevator is installed, the public computing area is coming together, and the new space is open and inviting. We will begin moving our collections and furnishings in shortly.
How is the project funding progressing?
As we have shared previously, this is a $410,000 renovation. As is the case with every PPL capital project and our annual operational budget, the City of Portland supports PPL’s infrastructure needs. In this case, the City provided $300,000 to the project address the structural and ergonomic issues at the building.
However, we rely on the generosity of private donors for everything that enhances the Burbank library experience – from our ongoing programs, to the ways we build our collections, and the project-specific items like fresh, flexible seating in the children’s and adults areas. To date, we have received gifts from nearly 300 households toward the Burbank Branch renovation campaign and are now less than $40,000 away from our $410,000 goal.
Does this mean the project began before the funding was secure?
Not at all.
The City’s allocation meant we had the funds in hand to address long-standing, challenging structural and ergonomic issues at the branch. However, just as in a home renovation, this was an opportunity to identify other improvements that would enhance the branch and minimize future disruption:
- new, lower-profile shelving to highlight the collection while making the space more flexible and open
- new windows and air handling units to heighten energy efficiency
- up-to-date public computing resources
- more and better seating options for our patrons
How does the fundraising campaign affect the reopening of the branch?
Our hope is that gifts to the campaign will continue to keep pace with our renovation timeline and that we can reopen having accomplished all improvements rather than deferring any enhancements if we do not meet our goal. Please consider joining your neighbors in this effort, if you have not done so already, and make a secure gift online to the Burbank Branch renovation campaign. We are so grateful for the support of the community!