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January 19, 2022 - 9:58pm

Batavia library expected to offer warm re-opening Thursday

posted by Joanne Beck in news, notify, batavia, Richmond Memorial Library.


After a lack of heat closed Richmond Memorial Library for the first part of this week, it looks like the Ross Street facility will have a warm re-opening on Thursday, Director Robert Conrad says.

“I was just in the office to pick up some things and the furnace seems to be repaired. Everything was toasty warm 70-degrees,” he said to The Batavian Wednesday evening. Although I’m told that they're waiting on some parts for a permanent fix, I’d consider it patched.”

Conrad oversees direct library operations, whereas the actual building and grounds at 19 Ross St., Batavia, are owned and maintained by the city school district. The library has been closed this week due to an aging heating/ventilation/air conditioning system not working properly. A repair that began on Tuesday required additional parts to make the furnace fully functional, Conrad said from what he’d been told by a senior custodian. 

The Batavian emailed questions to City Schools Director of Facilities Jason DeGraff and left a message for comment at the office of the Building and Grounds superintendent Wednesday. This article will be updated with any reply from the school district.

To Conrad’s understanding, city facilities staff was working with contractors and suppliers earlier Wednesday to obtain the necessary parts to fix the problem, he said. 

“I would have to defer any further questions to them, simply because the building/heating are beyond the scope of my training and duties,” he said Wednesday. “I doubt whether there will be an unexpected cost for the school district, as I understand that they budget to replace building infrastructure at the end of its useful life, which our heat system — as I understand — already was.”

Chilly temperatures aside, Conrad has other things on his mind besides a lack of heat. An upcoming Local Authors Fair will be happening in April, he said, with authors from Genesee, Erie and Monroe counties. Other exciting news is the debut of new library cards and a logo, plus a reading therapy dog. Details of both events are to be released in March and April, he said.  A library budget vote and trustee election in May, followed by the Summer Reading Program in June, round out the next five months of activities, he said. 

The library is expected to resume its normal hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

Top photo: Robert Conrad, director of Richmond Memorial Library, is seen in a file photo taken by Howard Owens at the Ross Street library.

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