Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown on Wednesday announced the completion of the first round of repairs to the Frank E. Merriweather Library Branch, which reopened this week after being closed since July 2011.
Renovations will continue throughout the summer months, and are scheduled to be complete by November 2011.
“I am pleased that the city has been able to make quick repairs such a vital community resource,” said Brown. “Merriweather is one of the most popular libraries in the City of Buffalo and we wanted to make sure that the building was structurally sound and safe for city residents to use.”
Merriweather reopened on August 8, after being closed for almost one month. On July 10, a car struck the library’s exterior stonewall, leaving the ventilation and air conditioning systems significantly damaged. The building was then deemed unsafe for public use.
The City of Buffalo will spend almost $200,000 in renovations and repairs for the library. Fall is the target date for the renovations to be completed. The Department of Public Works surveyed the entire building to verify that the library is safe and structurally sound before the reopening.
“Merriweather is a shining star among our libraries,” said Mary Jean Jakubowski, Director of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System. “Immediately following last month’s accident and the untimely closing, we began to receive calls from the Merriweather community asking when the library would re-open. Had it not been for Mayor Brown, and the dedicated Public Works Department under Steve Stepniak, we would not be here today.”
The Merriweather Library has the highest patron count out of all eight library branches in the city, besides the Central Library in downtown Buffalo. In 2010, 120,500 people used Merriweather for books, periodicals and media. From January 1 – June 30 this year, Merriweather received 56,830 patrons.
The 20,000 square foot Merriweather Library was constructed in 2006 and features public access computers, a state-of-the-art technology training lab and a 150-seat auditorium. The library the First-in-the-Nation Uncrowned Queens Institute Affiliate. The library is wheelchair accessible and has 35 parking spaces. The library replaced the North Jefferson Branch Library and was renamed after Frank E. Merriweather, Jr., editor and publisher of The Criterion newspaper.
The Frank E. Merriweather Library will be open during regular hours for the remainder of the summer:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 12p.m. – 8p.m.
Thursday 3p.m. – 8p.m.
Friday, Saturday 10a.m. – 6p.m.