DuPont Fund starts Downtown library conversion

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The Jessie Ball duPont Fund on June 19 purchased the former Haydon Burns Library along Adams and Ocean streets Downtown for $2.2 million.

Monday, the first steps in the conversion of the 48-year-old building from library to office space for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations were underway.

Jack Burnell, development manager for JBDF LLC, the corporation formed by the fund to manage the building, said the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems will be replaced.

Fire sprinklers will be installed throughout the building and the roof will be replaced.

“Structurally, it’s in great shape. It’s more sound than you need for offices,” Burnell said.

With floors designed to support the weight of thousands of books, he said the architect designed a structure that would support 150 pounds per square foot, but code requirements for office space specify supporting 50 pounds per square foot, he said.

The projected completion date for the renovation is early 2015, Burnell said.

“When you get into a building like this, you start to find surprises. I’m not anticipating any big surprises, but I am sure there will be some,” he said.

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