Replacement of Library Carpet, Flooring Approved by Town Council

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Charlie Breitrose

A view of what the current Watertown Free Public Library.

Charlie Breitrose

Watertown Free Public Library.

With more than 3.5 million visitors since 2004, the carpets and flooring at the Watertown Free Public Library are showing their age. They will be replaced in a month-long project approved by the Town Council Tuesday night.

Library Director Leone Cole said the library welcomes more than 30,000 visitors a month. So the carpeting and vinyl flooring needs to be replaced.

The cost of the project is $259,400, and the town will borrow the money needed for the project, said Town Manager Michael Driscoll.

“It will be paid off in five years, with payments of $51,880 each year, along with interest payments,” Driscoll said.

The work will be done by Atkinson Carpet, and the project will take four weeks to complete. Most of the work can take place when the library is open, but there will be a short period of closure while the carpeting in the main hallway and the staircase is replaced, Cole said.

“The library will need to be closed about two days,” Cole said. “The rest can be done while the library is open. Work will be complete by 3 p.m. and the area will be open the rest of the day.”

One area of concern is the carpeting on the staircase.

“In the past there was an issue as patrons came down the stairway there was almost an optical illusion and they wouldn’t see the last step,” said Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis said. “Caution tape was put on the step so people could see it.”

The plan is to use a different color carpeting on the bottom steps of the staircase so patrons will know they are at the bottom.

The carpets and vinyl flooring will be VOC free and environmentally safe, said Sean Martins of Mohawk Industries, the manufacturer of the carpets and flooring.

The Town Council unanimously approved the project.

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