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Library facelift awaits go after months of effort

By Staff | Jul 12, 2012

Sara Foley and Tom Scott of Scott Brothers Pacific, whose firm will take the lead in painting Lahaina Public Library, enjoy “Savor the Sunset,” last month’s benefit for the library. Photo by Jen Carden

LAHAINA – The long-awaited facelift of Lahaina Public Library by the Rotary Club of Lahaina with the cooperation of the Maui Friends of the Library (MFOL) and the Hawaii State Public Library System will likely begin in August, with volunteers packing 35,000 books and other materials.

Originally scheduled to begin July 9, the facelift project has been delayed by a complicated permitting process involving the county and the state, said Rotary facelift Chair Sara Foley, a MFOL board member.

Foley has been working on the project on a daily basis for at least four months, coordinating with volunteer designer Rick Cowan of Archipelago. Architect Uwe Schulz is also helping in the facelift.

The effort has involved creating detailed drawings, processing documents and securing approval of government officials, and planning the work of 15 volunteer contractors, many of whom are contributing their services.

“Cowan’s professional expertise, willingness and interaction with government entities has been key to moving the project forward,” Foley said.

“Even though our plan is basically cosmetic, several departments at both the county and the state have had to sign off,” Foley continued. “Since this is a government building, we have been extra careful to be sure we follow all the rules.”

The last step in the process is approval from Hawaii’s Disability Communication Access Board that the plan for the floor meets state standards.

Volunteers are needed to pack and code more than 750 boxes of library materials – the first step in a process designed to complete the facelift in six to eight weeks.

The books and furniture being retained will be stored in an air-conditioned facility operated by 5A Rent-A-Space in Honokowai.

Unitek Contracting Group will then move in to work on the floor. Painters recruited by Rotarian Dick Starkweather will put their brushes to walls, the ceiling and 180 windows.

The painting is being coordinated by Tom Scott of Scott Brothers Pacific, the big firm that once painted the exterior of the Pioneer Inn, aided by Steve Steamer Johnson of Steamer’s Painting Inc. and others.

After the painting contractors, new concrete tiling will be added by RVS Construction working with Castaway Construction and Restoration. Next, the circulation desk and book shelves will be assembled.

Members of the 13-member committee helping with the effort include Cowan, landscape designer Shawn McLaughlin, Branch Librarian Madeleine Buchanan, Maui Friends of the Library President Dorothy Tolliver, and Rotarians Foley, Roz Baker, Schulz, Starkweather, Eric van Ketel, Liz May, George Lavenson and Norm Bezane.

Residents or part-timers who want to volunteer to pack books should call Foley at 667-0589.