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South Hills

Baldwin Library leaders prep for eventual Leland Center move

| Friday, July 14, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
A rendering of the proposed Baldwin Library that would be housed in the Leland Community Center. Plans call for the library construction to begin in 2018.
A rendering of the proposed Baldwin Library that would be housed in the Leland Community Center. Plans call for the library construction to begin in 2018.

Baldwin Borough Library officials are starting to get the word out about the new library project and how the community can help make the facility a centerpiece in the borough.

Library Director Jenny Worley gave council members an update on the project, which will turn the Leland Community Center into a library.

Worley said the architect, GBBN Inc., is working with the Baldwin zoning and planning commission to make sure designs meet borough requirements.

The library secured a $500,000 grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. Borough officials agreed to contribute $300,000 once the state grant was secured. Construction costs are estimated at $1.6 million. Related project expenses would bring the total to nearly $2.6 million.

Worley displayed two designs of the new library, including one that features a 1,000-square-foot addition on to the front of the building that would make the library more of a community center.

Worley said the design and construction of the addition would cost an estimated $380,000. Fundraising efforts would determine the fate of the addition.

Not many changes will be made to the interior of the Leland Center.

“The work will be as minimal as possible to save on costs but still make it look like a really nice library,” Worley said.

The main reason for the move is to have a building that the library can call its own. The Wallace building is owned by the Baldwin-Whitehall School District. The Leland Center also gives the library more space.

The new library will be 5,200 square feet, which is about 1,100 more than the current facility.

A pamphlet explaining changes also highlights the history of the library and reasons why the community should help support this endeavor.

Worley said the library board continues to seek grants and will begin fundraising efforts.

The original plan was to construct a new building on land that the library purchased along Churchview Avenue.

But library officials determined the cost would be too expensive. The library board has put the property up for sale and will apply the proceeds toward the renovation project at Leland Center.

Worley anticipates the library will advertise for bids in December and award contracts before January. Renovation work should take nine months.

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805, or via Twitter @TribJimSpez.

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