The $25 million renovation of the Providence Public Library will begin soon, and the construction will be managed by BOND through its Providence office. Dan Ramos, regional manager for BOND’s Providence offices, responded recently to questions posed by the Providence Business News about this project.
PBN: What does the project entail in terms of major changes?
RAMOS: This is a transformative project for not only BOND [and the Providence Public Library] but also for the city of Providence. Together we’re going to create a modern, open, public learning space and creative center in the heart of the city. The renovation will add new technology, collaboration and maker spaces in an open environment. The space will be warm and engaging with new pedestrian flow and a new multistory atrium.
PBN: This project will renovate an addition that dates to the 1950s. How in general do you adapt such an older interior to modern styles?
RAMOS: A lot of the work we do as a firm involves the modernization of older spaces. We’re fortunate to have a great design partner in designLAB architects, and together we’ve done a lot of pre-planning to make sure that we’re ready to go. This project is going to require a lot of structural modifications to create the new atrium as well as upgrades to the building’s mechanical systems for more-efficient climate control, new energy-efficient lighting, and accessibility improvements and upgrades. We also utilize technology like laser scanning to accurately confirm existing conditions and provide a level of certainty that the drawings of the past can’t match.
PBN: What is the timeline for construction and completion?
RAMOS: BOND has been working behind the scenes with PPL for several months in pre-construction, and PPL has also been working to get the building ready for us to start the actual construction. We will start work in the fall of this year, with a completion date of late 2019 or early 2020.
PBN: You will be working with the same architect who led the renovation of the original 1900s library building, completed in the 1980s. Is that an advantage, to have someone from the original team on this project?
RAMOS: Absolutely, we’re lucky to have designLAB’s institutional knowledge with the physical structure and history of this library. They’ve been great partners with us and have helped significantly in working with us to impart that institutional knowledge. It makes for a much smoother project from start to finish.
PBN: How will the construction appear to passersby? This is a very active downtown location. Will you be able to contain the activity all on-site or will you be taking off-site space to accommodate equipment?
RAMOS: Most of the work we’re doing on this project will be inside of the building, but we will also be replacing the exterior windows, improving the building entrances and doing masonry repair. We are using lean construction practices that will minimize disturbances to pedestrian and vehicular traffic by utilizing “Just-In-Time” delivery strategies to get materials to the project when they’re needed.
Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.