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DL Library to get a 'green' upgrade

Things are about to get a little cooler - and a little "greener" - in the Detroit Lakes Library.

When the air-conditioning for the older part of the library broke down last August, library staff was decided it was time for an evaluation of the building, said Mary Haney, head librarian.

That evaluation, conducted by KGD Engineering, led to the plans for an upgrade to the library's heating, cooling and ventilation systems, new insulation in the older part of the library, and replacing emergency exit doors - formerly the building's main entrance - on the east side of the library, said Kevin Disse, senior mechanical engineer at KGD.

Disse said after the improvements are made, the comfort level of the library will increase. The current lack of air-conditioning is most noticeable in the second-floor reading room, Haney said, and Disse also pointed out current issues with the library's main meeting room.

Not only will these improvements make the library more comfortable, they'll also make it more green.

"We're tuning up, making what's there more energy efficient," Disse said.

Most libraries consume a lot of energy because of their hours and the resources they have available such as computers, Disse said. Compared to other businesses and facilities, libraries have one of the highest energy costs per square inch, he said. Disse has experience working with universities, where the libraries usually have the highest energy costs.

With the updates, the Detroit Lakes Library's energy costs should come down, Disse said.

The library staff is excited to have these updates.

"This building has been so beloved by the community, we're anxious to keep it in good condition," she said.

Currently, the plans for these improvements have been made, and the project is out for contractors to bid on. The city should have all their quotes in the beginning of August, Disse said, and they hope the project will be completed this fall.

Disse said the energy efficient updates at the library are a step toward improvements throughout the city.

"This project shows that the city of Detroit Lakes wants to do things to add to energy efficiency," he said.