ALAMEDA, CA-The City of Alameda began construction last week on the long-awaited redevelopment of the Carnegie Building, Alameda’s former main library.

Three years ago, the library relocated to a temporary location in Historic Alameda High School, where it will remain until its lease expires in 2004. The Carnegie was considered to be too small a space for the library’s collection for at least a decade before it moved.

Last year, a bond measure was approved that will pay for a third of the cost for a new library, and the city will apply for state funds for the rest. The library’s new site is located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street.

Chain link fence now surrounds the Carnegie, as workers begin to renovate the 1902 historic structure. The work will be completed in three phases, and will make the building safe and completely functional for office space.

The City of Alameda had originally allotted a $2.9 million budget for the project, but the full job will cost double this amount. The city has awarded a $3.4 million contract for the project’s first phase, which includes shell improvements, structural stabilization, hazardous material removal and roof replacement.

Phase one is scheduled for a late 2002 completion. The second phase, which will cost about $750,000, will permit occupancy of the first floor. This phase will begin as soon as funds are available.

Phase Three will allow the building to be fully used, and will include elevator, exit stairs, electrical and plumbing upgrades, and safety improvements. Phase Four will follow, completing the renovation of the building with a new heating and ventilation system, an elevator and exit stairs enclosure, and landscaping and site improvements.

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