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South Neighborhoods
Brookline: 'Green' renovation begins at library

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

By Jackie Day

A group of local leaders and public officials teamed up to "bash in the walls" at the Brookline branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh during the renovation construction kick-off Saturday.

"They gave me a hard hat and my very own sledge hammer," said Marlene Curran of the Brookline Community Council. "I didn't do as well as the big guys, but I made a hole."

Curran was joined by State Rep. Michael Diven, D-Brookline, city Councilman Jim Motznik and Herb Elish, director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, to launch the $2.2 million renovation. The work is part of the Carnegie's capital improvement plan to overhaul all seven branch locations, including the main facility in Oakland.

Loysen and Associates, architects on the project, touted the library's environmentally pleasing "green building" approach.

Skylights offering natural lighting and environment-friendly materials helped achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Late this year or early next, people can expect to lounge in the library's "living room"-style reading room, hop on an elevator down to the children's level or surf the Web in the sky-lit Internet cafe.

"If it comes out as good as it looks on these drawings, it'll be exciting," said Curran. "Forty or 50 years from now, this is something the neighborhood will have long after the people who are working on it now."

Jackie Day is a freelance writer.

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