The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners was divided Wednesday night on whether to embark upon a renovation of the Ardmore Library at the same time as a renovation of the Gladwyne Library.
Director of libraries Christine Steckel advocated for a joint bid, telling the commissioners they might get more competitive quotes and that the two projects included some similarities, such as the need for a new elevator at both libraries.
However, several commissioners questioned whether there would be enough savings in a joint project to tie up two branches at once. Both the Ludington (Bryn Mawr) and Bala Cynwyd libraries are closed now for renovations; neither the Ardmore nor the Gladwyne project would begin until after those branches reopen.
Discussion of the issue was suspended until July.
Steckel estimated the Ardmore renovation—which would include opening up the loft area to visitors and refurbishing the children's room—would cost $1.2 million. Gladwyne's project is estimated to cost $1.5 million.
Ardmore's branch also may need to briefly close this fall for repairs to roof and window leaks, at a cost of $165,000 to $195,000, paid from federal grants, Steckel said.
Ludington is set to reopen Sept. 8, and Bala Cynwyd's branch will be done with construction in February, officials said Wednesday.