The U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs just approved scopes of work for nearly $1 million in federally funded work renovating three V.I. public libraries, according to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
The OIA announced the funding had been released earlier this year.
The work includes $250,000 for the Athalie M. Petersen Library in Frederiksted, $600,000 for the Florence Williams Library in Christiansted, and $65,000 for the Elaine I. Sprauve Library in Cruz Bay, St. John.
However, DPNR Commissioner Dawn Henry said in a statement, “The public needs to be aware that the department may not commence any work on these projects until the Office of Insular Affairs has ensured that all federal environmental laws and regulations are compiled with through the National Environmental Policy Act and all other applicable environmental laws and regulations.” The work may only begin after OIA issues an authorization to proceed, she said.
On Oct. 21, DPNR announced the reopening of the Athalie Petersen library, which had been closed in the summer due to air conditioning failure. DPNR replaced the main air conditioning unit and had the place professionally cleaned in order to reopen the library. DPNR footed the nearly $10,000 bill for repairs, not this federal grant, according to the department.
DPNR expects the bidding process for these various library renovation projects on both islands to begin in early 2016.