Franklin Public Library Roof Project Goes To Bid

| November 21, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) Thanks to a grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund, bids are now being accepted to replace the roof on the Franklin Public Library.

The Oil Region Library Association, which includes the Franklin Public Library, the Oil City Library and the Cooperstown Public Library, was awarded a grant of $75,672 from the Keystone Fund through the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The grants are awarded through a competitive process and are used to help public libraries build new facilities, renovate older buildings and make services more accessible.

Add the grant money to $90,000 in required matching local money already raised by the library and the projected cost of roughly $180,000 project will be just about covered.

Zoe Oakes is the library’s branch manager. She says the library actually needs three new roofs.

The library’s primary three-story structure was built in 1849 as a home. It was converted into a library in 1921.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any records on the original roof on the original part of the building having been replaced or maintained over the years,” says Oakes. “So we need a full new roof and a lot of rebuilding on the third floor.”

“That will include replacing gutters, also, a lot of the architectural flairs on the outside because unfortunately they’re rotting away and falling down.”

The main building has a mason roof with flat tiles. Because the building has a historical designation, those features need to be replicated when they are replaced.

The library also has an additional two wings. One is a children’s room added in 1968, the other, an adult area, was built in 1978.

“Both of those have rubber roofs,” Oakes explains. “They have just outlived their time. We are having a little bit of water damage in the libraries. ”

Water damage is found on the third floor of the main building, in an area not accessible to the public. Water seepage in the additional wings is more noticeable to library users.

Oakes laughs when asked how long the library has been in need of roof repair, “It’s one of those things that you just patch and hope and hope. It’s just time we buckle down and do it.”

The $90,000 in matching funds were raised in roughly three months time by appealing to local donors and businesses.

Oakes says the library will remain open while the renovations are taking place. She hopes the work will start in the spring.

“It should not interfere with the day-to-day operation of the library. It may be a little messy and noisy on the outside but we’ll be open.”

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