Heat on the way? Library hopes so


It’s taken longer than anticipated but Kearny Public Library’s main facility at 318 Kearny Ave. is seemingly assured of having heat for the winter ahead.

So reported Library Director Josh Humphrey last week after workers from Core Mechanical Inc. of Pennsauken were applying what Humphrey hoped to be the final adjustments to a new boiler in the library’s basement.

It’s a replacement for an original coal-fired furnace, later converted to gas, “70 years old or older,” which “has been on its last legs and leaking water for some time,” Humphrey said.

Because it hasn’t been working efficiently, “the heat in the building isn’t regulated very well,” Humphrey added.

So, with the cold weather season beginning to set in, Humphrey said the town decided it was time to act by getting a new unit installed. The town will be footing the bill from unreserved emergency funds, he said.

How much the job will cost wasn’t known as of last week. Initially, the main library shut down Monday, Nov. 10 to Wednesday, Nov. 12, figuring that the work could be completed within that time, and planned to reopen Thursday, Nov. 13.

But Humphrey said the work turned out to be a bit more complicated than anticipated and the library stayed closed Thursday and Friday that week. “It’s a big job,” he said. “They had to take out the old boiler in pieces and put the new one in pieces as well. Then they had to hook up the gas line, put in a new meter, re-do the electricity for the lights in the ceiling and then hook it up to the chimney.”

Despite an inside temperature of 42 degrees, with the boiler still a work in progress, the library re-opened Saturday, Nov. 15, and an estimated 150 library patrons showed up during the day, Humphrey said.

As a result of the closures, the library had to cancel all scheduled programs, including Story Time, Child’s Cooking Class and Book Discussion Group.

Then, the following week, the library shut down Wednesday, Nov. 26, as the installation continued and remained closed for the Thanksgiving holiday period, Nov. 27, 28 and 29.

A notice posted on the library website advised that, “We plan to reopen Monday, Dec. 1.”

Humphrey was hoping that by then, the air inside would be a bit warmer with a functioning boiler.

– Ron Leir

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