Update on the South End Branch Closure

To be added to the South End Update mailing list, please email Priscilla Foley, Director of Neighborhood Services, at pfoley@bpl.org.

BPL Facilities staff, contractors and external engineering experts have carefully examined the current conditions in the branch. Our assessment is that the branch will need to be closed for approximately eight months to a year, in order to obtain and install replacement systems and make additional repairs.

This is longer than anyone initially expected, but as we have explored the damage to the branch’s electrical, mechanical, data, and plumbing systems, it has become clear that all of these were damaged beyond repair. There currently is no heating, cooling, telecommunications, or electricity in the branch, which means that the building is not usable.

We have installed a temporary solution for electricity that has made it possible to begin cleaning and further assessing the damage to the mechanical systems, and we are hiring an engineering firm to design our replacement mechanical systems. Once this design is complete, we will source and purchase the components, have them installed, and make sure that all systems work and are properly permitted.

As we all know, there are global supply chain issues around sourcing mechanical equipment, and while we are building these delays into the timeline, we recognize that we may have to shift our expectations. We are committed to keeping you all informed as we reach milestones in bringing the branch back to service; the next milestone we will be able to share will be when the engineering design and implementation timeline have been completed. Please note that this does not impact our work to pursue a more complete capital project; this process will continue even while we work to reopen the branch.

We are looking for ways in which library staff can continue to bring programming and services to the South End community, and we look forward to letting the community know once those events and activities are finalized.

We are grateful to all of our patrons and the community for your support and patience.