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Work starts in April on $13 million library

Rochester Business Journal
February 28, 2014

Construction of a $13 million library for the town of Irondequoit is scheduled to begin in late April and be completed by next summer, the construction manager, the Christa Cos., said this week.

“It’s pretty exciting in that the town has been talking about it for several years and actually decades in various ways, shapes or forms,” Christa vice president John Radesi said.

The new library near the town hall on Titus Avenue will allow consolidation of existing branches on East Ridge Road and Cooper Road.

“We’re trying to create a campus,” said Peter Wehner, senior project architect at Passero Associates P.C.

“We relied on the architectural style of the existing buildings and tried to blend in with that. We’re trying to create a modern, exciting interior that’s conjoined with the traditional exterior.”

The town will try to sell the existing library building at 2180 E. Ridge Road, Irondequoit Supervisor Adam Bello said. The building at 45 Cooper Road will revert to ownership by the West Irondequoit Central School District.

“The enthusiasm for the library project is as strong today, if not stronger than it was last year when we went through the referendum process,” Bello said. “I think people are ready to see shovels in the ground and see the library built.”

The project has moved in fits and starts since fall 2012 when the library board recommended a new library in a central location.

After voters approved the project in a referendum and an environmental review found no adverse impact, seven residents sued the town over what they claimed was a flawed review.

The town initiated a more extensive review that again found no negative impacts and passed a new bond resolution to fund the project. The plaintiffs agreed to halt their legal challenge.

“We’ve been involved for about 3½ years as a friend,” Radesi said. “We helped them with budgeting and some cost projections for consolidation, renovation, relocation or new.

“When all of these challenges came forth, it had nothing to do with us but we were involved with them in understanding the trials and tribulations. We just tried to be a strong supporter of whatever they needed us to do.”

Christa was awarded the project at last week’s meeting of the Town Board. Passero Associates is the project architect, with consultants that include Barkstrom & LaCroix Architects.

“It’s going to be quite a nice job,” Radesi said. “You’re probably going to realize up to 100 construction jobs. It’s a great boost for the community and Rochester in general, because they haven’t done a lot of municipal stuff in a couple of seasons.”

Christa has done work at the Rundel Memorial Building of the Central Library on South Avenue in Rochester and on town libraries in Chili, Greece, Penfield, Webster and Victor.

The town conducted a public meeting Tuesday to gather input on what residents expect from the new library.

“There was a lot of discussion about technology and making sure our library isn’t just useful for what our needs are today but is still useful 20 or 30 years from now,” Bello said.

2/28/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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