A large portion of Darien Library’s parking lot has been under construction for the last couple of weeks. The reason why about 30 parking spaces are temporarily lost is because the library is doing a new capital construction project “that will convert the Library’s existing geothermal standing column wells to a closed loop system, making the library building more comfortable year-round,” said Associate Director of Programs and Services Mallory Arents in the library’s press release.
Arents went on to explain their geothermal system, writing, “Darien Library’s geothermal heating and cooling system is an important part of the Library’s recognition as a cost-effective, sustainable building that ranks in the top 5% of regional HVAC efficiency.”
The library’s temperature is regulated from wells under the parking lot and will be upgraded for cooler summers and warmer winters for their visitors.
Director Alan Kirk Gray explained, “In the 10 years since the building opened, the Library has seen a change in the sub-surface water quality drawn into the standing column wells. New technology is now available to convert the geothermal system to the use of closed loop wells.”
The funds for this project will come from the Library’s endowment.
“The Friends of the Library are proud to be making this Capital investment in our building,” stated Board President Kevin Gasvoda. “In addition to the generous support that we receive each year from the Town of Darien for the general operations of the building and staff salaries, the Friends are committed to making significant improvements such as this whenever necessary.”
The project will be finished in mid-June, but the library anticipates that the most parking intensive phase will last through mid-April. Arents explained that after April, the back section of the parking lot will be open while the mid-section will be under construction but only 12 parking spots will be temporarily lost.
She went onto say that, “The project is designed to limit as much stress on parking as possible. Throughout the project time frame, Library programs will be running on a lighter schedule to accommodate less parking spaces. A parking attendant will be available to help direct traffic during days with significant programs or high traffic. Our overflow lot on Thorndal Circle is available on the evenings and weekends. A temporary path between the overflow lot and our main lot has been created.”
The library will be providing regular updates on the project on their website and via email.