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Whitehall Public Library lobby renovations a success

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:31 p.m.
South Hills Record
Whitehall Public Library’s newly renovated lobby includes a “warm” and home-like design, and bricks once on the floor have been replicated and moved to the wall. Stephanie Hacke | For the South Hills Record
South Hills Record
Whitehall Public Library’s newly renovated lobby includes a “warm” and home-like design, and bricks once on the floor have been replicated and moved to the wall. Stephanie Hacke | For the South Hills Record

As Corinne Grubb entered the Whitehall Public Library, she noticed something was missing under her feet.

The deteriorating bricks that she and her family, neighbors and community members once had purchased to help support the library were gone from the floor. Instead, a replica of each hung as a tribute on the wall above.

“I'm very happy they kept them,” said Grubb, 53, a resident of Whitehall since 1984 and frequent library visitor, as she pointed out familiar names on the wall — including those of her family. “I think it's great because you can see it more up there.”

Constant foot traffic left the bricks, used as a library fundraiser in the late 1990s, broken and illegible.

A renovation project to the library's lobby, which included transforming the bricks into wall art, was completed in the last few weeks. The upgrades caused intermittent closures at the facility for two weeks during construction, staffers said.

The main impetus of the project was to replace the bricks in the flood and once again make them a focal point of the lobby, said library director Paula Kelly.

“People spent a lot of money to have this tribute,” she said.

The renovations — divided into two projects costing $24,500 and $7,500 and completed by Koffler Building Co. — were funded through estate gifts, Kelly said.

Changes also included a new look in the lobby, created by Virginia Weida Designs.

“It looks very elegant, yet very welcoming,” Kelly said.

Resident responses to the changes have been positive, Kelly said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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