Construction on the two new library buildings will break ground October 11. The final drawings are complete, the schedules are laid out, and we have a good timeline for completion of both Bainbridge and Thompson in 2020. There is an official groundbreaking ceremony scheduled October 18th for Thompson at 10 a.m. and Bainbridge at 1 p.m. All are invited to attend.
We are currently exploring ways to best manage the transition to service at the new Bainbridge Branch when it opens in December 2020. We had originally hoped for a quick transition of service from the existing building to the new building. However, the final design and location of the new building are such that the existing building will have to be torn down in order to make the new building accessible to the public. The currently anticipated transition time is approximately ten weeks. So that we can continue to provide service to patrons of the Bainbridge Branch during this transition period, we will be looking to partner with other public or private facilities in the nearby vicinity to set up temporary accommodations for public services. We are also looking into utilizing our mobile services vehicles as a movable base from which to provide temporary public services. This is all a work in progress. We are at the very earliest of stages of planning the logistics of the transition. Rest assured we wish to continue to provide the best possible customer service to the community during the transition to the exciting new building and will work hard to do so.
Why is a longer transition to the new Bainbridge Branch necessary? The recently completed design process places the building closer to the old building than originally anticipated. This is mostly attributable to the need to respect and accommodate the wetlands on the property and the legal requirement that we build a water retention pond, something that the existing facility did not require when built in the 1980s. This in turn impacts the location of the expanded asphalt parking lot needed to accommodate zoning requirements for the new building. While the construction of the new building will not interfere with our ability to provide full service at the existing building, the new building will not be safely accessible to the public until the new expanded parking lot is complete. However, construction of the expanded parking lot requires the demolition of the existing building. The project timeline indicates it will take about ten weeks to tear down the existing building and construct the new asphalt parking lot once the new building is complete in early October 2020. Timing is crucial here because asphalt production typically shuts down in late November. No matter what, both the Library and the construction team are dedicated to minimizing as much as possible the inconvenience to our patrons during the transition to full service at the new building.
As always, we welcome any ideas and feedback that might help us better navigate this transition together.