BY ANN GENADER

Final steps needed to ready the new West Milford Library building for the grand opening ceremony are underway. Library Board Director Ricardo Pino reported at Tuesday’s Library Board meeting that he expected the driveway top coat of macadam to have been put down by the end of this week.

This was one of a series of requirements that had to be met before steps toward setting an opening date could be taken. The contractor needed a few days of dry, fair weather to prepare for the paving project.

The board expects the grand opening will be at the end of April or beginning of May on a Saturday.

The status of the buildingPino reported that water and plumbing provisions are in place and final required official inspections will be taking place followed by submission of closeout documents and issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the township building department.

He said a break from the recent rainy weather cycle had been needed so that the driveway pavement and striping of the parking lot could be done.

The shelves are up and furniture is in place in the new 17,000 square foot facility on Union Valley Road next door to the municipal building.

Library Board member James Rogers is working on the grand opening program. The trustees are in agreement that speeches will be short with emphasis on getting people into the building to explore the new facilities.

Douglas Ott, who heads the new building committee, said that Battinelli Landscaping and Garden Center of Hewitt is doing the landscaping around the building at no cost. Some white pine trees from the township’s No Net Loss Reforestation project will also be planted near the bike shop.

James Valenta, who heads the fundraising committee, reported that grant money applications will be made for special needs and other opportunities. A summer reading club for children is one of the proposals. A second general mailing to citizens for donations is also being considered.

Change ordersThe library board passed a resolution recommending that the township council approve two change orders for the library construction project. Pino said the change orders involved the need for emergency exit signs, a catch basin change and the need to redo pipe from the original house well to the new building, with the cost not huge.

Answering face book queries from residents who wanted to know about the library opening, Pino said as soon as the township issues the certificate of occupancy both library buildings will close and moving items from the old building to the new one will be underway. He estimated that moving period would be about two weeks.

The director said everyone’s due dates will be extended so there will be no late fees in the time line that the library buildings are closed. He said people will be able to use their library cards at 19 other PALS libraries including Ringwood, Pompton Lakes, Wanaque and Wayne Libraries. The book drop outside the current library will continue to be available during the moving process.

Earlier this month the township council approved change orders with over half of the $74,470 in additional cost needed for a closet to house the building’s informational technology infrastructure.

The council is paying 27.5 percent of the cost of the new building and will have the top floor for meeting space.