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Mayor Diaz Announces a Soft Opening for the Public Library

Mayor Diaz, Litter Critter & Cat in the Hat.

Diaz poses with Library Staff including current and former Director & City Officials

Press Release 10/21/15

PERTH AMBOY – Mayor Wilda Diaz announced the soft grand opening of the Perth Amboy Public Library which was held on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at 196 Jefferson Street.

Children enjoy activities * Photos by Bob Ned

Children enjoy activities
* Photos by Bob Ned

“It’s a library we all can be proud of,” said Mayor Diaz about the renovation project she promised to preserve and renovate since being elected mayor in 2008. “Our families deserve a place of quiet study and educational tools that they can fully utilize. A city with a good library says a lot about a community. This is my proudest project.”

“Andrew Carnegie knew where to put his immense wealth when he paid for the Perth Amboy library building, and we follow him as stewards of this library,” said Jim Woller, President of the Library Board of Trustees.

The soft opening will celebrate with activities for children, library tours, arts & crafts, library card sign-ups, giveaways, refreshments and some of our favorite book characters.

Phase 1 of the $10 million library restoration project is now complete. The $2.2 million construction phase has restored many of the original features and details to the main level of the building. The project overview is stated below.

• The main entrance: New interior, enclosed vestibule area that was part of the original construction. In addition, a large central skylight in the library that was previously covered has been restored and returned to its original function, now highlighting the new main desk area.

• The interior work:  New and refinished flooring, wall finishes and ceiling finishes. All new lighting has been provided with an appropriate upgrade to the electrical service. The HVAC system has been upgraded with more energy efficient mechanical heating units and the addition of central air conditioning.   On the lower level, the Children’s area has been renovated with all new ceiling and lighting, refinished floors, new furniture and shelving, and a reconditioned desk area. The lower level bathroom renovations continue with completion expected by early 2016.

Adults and Children take out books

Adults and Children take out books

Additionally, funding provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders of $325,000 supported the replacement of the entire roof and energy efficient windows, including the replacement of the monumental front windows. This façade update improves energy efficiency by reducing heating costs. The new windows improve conditions for public reading spaces such as reducing glare and improving acoustic conditions, as well as beautifying the downtown area.

The Middlesex County Freeholders, Library Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library, Celebrate Perth Amboy: Save Our Carnegies Library Committee, corporate/personal donations, school fundraisers and capital improvement funds have all contributed to this effort.

In support of this project, is the Business Improvement District held a fundraiser, The Taste of Perth Amboy on Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 6:00 – 9:00pm at the ZPA Banquet Hall located on 281 Grace Avenue.

The Taste of Perth Amboy is cultural and culinary event that showcases Perth Amboy’s rich diversity in community and food. From Mediterranean to Asian to South American cuisine, this event allows our guests’ taste buds to venture off to the different corners of the world all the while staying in the comfort of Perth Amboy. In addition to the wide variety of succulent food samplings, this event also featured live, cultural dance and musical performances.

Funding is still being identified for the future project phases and donations are being accepted. For additional information, please contact the Perth Amboy Public Library at (732) 826-2600.

 

Mayor Diaz, Litter Critter & Cat in the Hat.

Mayor Diaz, Litter Critter & Cat in the Hat.

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