Empty Carnegie Library will get some temporary tenants

MEDFORD — The ground floor of Medford's former library is about to be renovated.

The Medford City Council is scheduled today to approve a $74,000 contract with local architect Douglas Snider to design and renovate the ground-floor of the vacant Carnegie Library building. The council meeting will take place at noon in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 411 W. Eighth St., Medford.

The renovation is the preliminary step to remodeling City Hall. As City Hall is remodeled, city staff will be temporarily displaced — floor by floor — to the bottom floor of the Carnegie.

Brian Sjothun, parks and recreation director, said the $3.2 million City Hall renovation will include a new heating and air conditioning system, lighting upgrades and minor office remodels.

George Kramer, historic preservation consultant hired by the Carnegie Committee, said it's a good deal for the committee and the city. The city will pay for some of the needed upgrades to the former library building, and meanwhile it won't have to pay rent for temporary office space.

If approved by the council, work could begin on the Carnegie building in June, said Sjothun. The building is expected to temporarily house city offices for a year starting in October.

He said work will begin on the third floor first. In addition to the city manager's office and other offices, the third floor is home to the council chambers. During renovation, televised meetings such as City Council and Planning Commission meetings will be held in the auditorium of the Jackson County Courthouse across the street. Sjothun said each floor is estimated to be displaced for 12 weeks.

Reach reporter Meg Landers at 776-4481 or e-mail mlanders@mailtribune.com.

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