In the meantime, DCPL and the construction manager for the project, Smoot Construction, are now offering contractors three different BID "packages" that can get underway in the coming weeks: hazardous material removal, historic salvage and protection, and supply of site facilities. Following final approval of the architectural designs, Smoot projects that 14-25 more packages will be advertised to facilitate a spring 2010 reopening. Library officials went on to assure the construction representatives in attendance that any current litigation pending against the DCPL will in no way affect the timetable or funds assigned to the project.
Proposed modifications to the original 1930s building include an addition to the library’s first floor, new stairways, elevators and internal systems, demolition of several existing walls, and the complete refurbishment of fire-damaged library accoutrements. Historic wood fixtures on site will be removed and restored off-site, while the library’s basement will also be reconfigured into a more user-friendly space. Luckily, the building’s facade suffered only minimal damage - the library’s concrete and steel skeleton and masonry walls rendered it essentially fireproof – and will not need significant restoration.
The initial cause of the 2007 fire was chalked up to faulty wiring. Capitol Hill's Eastern Market, which notoriously also caught fire on the very same day as the GNL, received $2 million to rebuild from the DC government two weeks ago.