With good timing, considering that April 14 to 20 was declared Centre County Library Week, county commissioners announced a request for proposals for the replacement of the existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Holt Memorial Library in Philipsburg. The request was made at the April 16 board meeting.
Centre County Library and Historical Museum Executive Director Denise Sticha said the current system is long due for an upgrade and that she was glad that the old boiler made it through the winter. She said library staff felt that the HVAC system would not be able to function properly for the air conditioning this summer, so she is glad to see things moving forward.
“We were hoping that the project would get off the ground so we would have heat over the winter. We are fortunate that the boiler survived the winter with just a little bit of tweaking here or there, so we are really excited to have the project in place for air conditioning. It was compromised last year. In addition to the heat, the humidity this isn’t good for print resources. We are all really happy to get this going for summer,” said Sticha.
The Holt Memorial Library branch was awarded a state Keystone grant of $27,000 in September for updates to its heating and cooling system. The Friends of the Holt Memorial Library were responsible in raising money to match the grant dollar-for-dollar.
“We were very appreciative of the efforts they have put in for years to raise that kind of money to make this possible,” said Sticha.
The commissioners agreed to go through with the request for proposals and will review the proposals as they come in.
All agreed that it was a fitting way to celebrate Centre County Library Week. A week earlier, April 7 to 13, was National Library Week. Board chairman Michael Pipe said it was important to recognize the partnership the county has with the library.
“What better way to (celebrate) than with the (Request For Proposal) for the HVAC system in Holt Memorial Library? But we also want to recognize the partnership that Centre County government has with the library system. In our budget we have a half million dollar contribution that we have for the libraries and it is such an important thing for us to invest in to help provide the services. We look forward to the future partnership and helping people learn, from young kids, to senior citizens and the whole gamut, to have a place to educate themselves and learn in Centre County,” said Pipe.
Sticha said the libraries have had a positive year, with many new things moving forward. The library system, which started in Bellefonte and has branched out around the county, will be celebrating its 80th year as a service during 2019. She said the libraries are an investment for the community.
“I think invest is good word to use, because it is an investment that has long term benefits the community. You can certainly see in our 80-year history how much the library has grown. We do partner very closely with Schlow, which is another part of the Centre County library system — it is a federation. In the future, I think there will be other opportunities for us to work together to improve library services and bring those kind of resources to residents in the community,” said Sticha.