June 24, 2016

Mostly sunny

Lodi Library will reopen next month

A worker puts finishing touches on renovations to the Lodi Library. The library has been closed since November 2011 and is expected to open May 19. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

A worker puts finishing touches on renovations to the Lodi Library. The library has been closed since November 2011 and is expected to open May 19. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

The Lodi Library will reopen May 19 after being closed 2 1/2 years because of roof beams that were found to be structurally unsound.

Library officials closed off a third of the building in November 2011, moving materials into a cramped space that wasn’t covered by the faulty roof. When construction began last year, programs and materials were moved to a temporary location at Lodi Station Outlets in Harrisville Township.

The temporary space — and therefore all library activity — will close after business hours April 26 and will remain closed until the move back to the main building at 625 Wooster St. is complete.

“We’ve been very fortunate that it’s going right on schedule and on budget,” said Heather Coontz, a district library spokeswoman. “Construction will continue until the 25th while they’re just putting on the finishing touches.”

Coontz said the library’s reopening will debut a few new features, including a revamped reading area, a recording station and an electronics table.

The reading area has new, comfortable seating so visitors have a place to read in peace, she said, and the recording station was installed after other Northeast Ohio libraries had good reactions.

“It’s a place for teens or anyone else to come in and record music or audio,” she said. “We thought since we have such a great teen audience, it would be a good addition to the library.”

Coontz said she couldn’t go into detail about the specific services offered by the recording station or the electronics table because they’re still waiting on parts to arrive.

The Lodi Library was built in 2005 at a cost of $3 million and opened in 2006.

The Medina County District Library in July filed a lawsuit in county common pleas court over the roof. The suit named as defendants David Milling Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Cavanaugh Building Corp., of Akron; The Cincinnati Insurance Co., of Fairfield; Amish Timber Framers, of Doylestown; Koehlinger Engineering LLC, of Bolivar; and Thorson Baker & Associates Inc., of Cleveland.

The library is seeking damages from all six companies, legal expenses, attorneys’ fees and a declaration that the library is entitled to insurance coverage.

The case is scheduled for a status conference Tuesday.

Coontz has said the cost of the renovations — about $1.8 million paid to Prime Engineering & Architecture and Simmons Brothers Corp. to design and execute the repairs — would be covered by any money awarded from the lawsuit.

She said the repairs should return the library to full service.

“We think this should correct all the issues,” Coontz said, “and it will bring the building back to being a fully functional library.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.