I took a few quiet minutes this morning to stand in one of my favorite spots in the sunny window of the library before everybody arrived. Today was the day we handed over the keys to the Demmer Library to the construction contractor. Today was the day this construction project really began to feel real.
It felt oddly like waiting with a patient at the hospital before going in for surgery. The building just feels tired. Another set of lights went out this morning. The Story Hour room downstairs is now a barren, cavernous wasteland with the carpet torn out and the asbestos tile and adhesive underneath torn out. Upstairs the carpet started bubbling under the traffic of so many pieces of furniture being moved. Exit signs and chunks of paneling have been salvaged. Rather than feeling larger, like most spaces do when the furniture is removed, the upstairs feels smaller – hard to believe that we ever got so many bookshelves, tables, chairs, and books in to that space.
Pretty soon we were busy talking about the details of construction schedules and renovation challenges, and you can feel the excitement building underneath. But, like spring and those poor plants still waiting under the snow, for right now the Demmer needs to hibernate just a little longer, waiting for warmth and hectic clamor of the building season to come.