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Guilderland library ready for next chapter

The Guilderland Public Library is bursting at its seams, according to its Board of Trustees, and they hope to remedy the situation by expanding the building by 19,000 square feet.

Built in 1992, the building is already in need of renovations, according to library officials. In order to keep up with growing demands, the Board of Trustees and the Growing for Generations Committee, a group of community members assembled by the trustees, hired architect Frank X. Craine from Peter Gisolfi Associates in November to come up with a plan for expansion.

Craine's vision for the library is to expand it from 26,575 square feet to 45,575 square feet. His plans would increase the parking lot from 84 to 125 spots and would include enhancing outdoor reading spaces, solar gain and a roof garden.

It's what we call a sustainable space, he said. "It's about gaining usable space. Instead of just having a roof, you're gaining an educational center."

Craine said that the 4 inches of garden on the roof will also reduce storm-water runoff, lower the temperature around the building and act as a natural thermal insulator, which will reduce the building's energy costs.

He said he is following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, guidelines, which were developed by the United States Green Building Council.

"We are always looking to build a 'green' building," he said.

The additions that Craine has outlined will cost $12.1 million.

In 2003, the trustees developed written criteria, called the "strategic long-range plan," for the library to follow in order to better serve the community in the future. Under this plan, the library has acquired wireless access for computer use, remote access to the library's collection such as downloadable audio and electronic books, an English as a Second Language program and a strong focus on teen services and collection development, among others.

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