Some Houston-area fire stations, libraries to see renovation

Jul. 14, 2013Your Houston News

Houston City Council approved Capital Improvement Plans for FY2014-18 on June 26.

Projects included in the CIP involve infrastructure improvements around the city, ranging from library and park upgrades to road work and water line replacements.

One project will be the renovation of the Eleanor K. Freed Montrose Neighborhood Library, 4100 Montrose, in Ellen Cohen’s District C. Housed in a former church, the library is the 17th most-visited library and is tied with three other locations in the Houston Public Library System for the second-worst neighborhood library.

The library, which was built in 1988 and has never been renovated, will undergo a major renovation to include new interior finishes, furniture, signage and service desk, as well as upgraded restrooms and mechanical systems.

John Middleton, HPL’s assistant director for planning and facilities, said the design process will begin in FY2016 and will entail evaluating the library’s current condition and how it stacks up with current goals.

Three Gregory School row houses, part of the African American Library at the Gregory School, 1300 Victor St., will also be preserved and restored to present a unified appearance for the library.

Beginning in 2014, one row house will be restored to the condition it was when lived in by a family attending the Gregory School; another row house will be restored for use as an artist’s studio; and the third row house will be used for overflow.

In Oliver Pennington’s District G, the J. Frank Jungman Neighborhood Library, 5830 Westheimer Road, is also being renovated.

The Jungman Library, the 10th most-visited library and rated the fifth worst neighborhood library in the HPL system, was built in 1975 and renovated for accessibility only in 2009.

“Jungman we do know will be a complete renovation,” Middleton said. “(It will be) completely gutted.”

The design process will start in the next month. Construction is slated to begin in 2014, and the library will be closed during this time.

Renovation of these libraries will be mostly funded by the public library consolidated construction fund.

Other CIP projects include the renovation of Houston Fire Station 16, 1700 Richmond in District C, and Fire Station 69, 1102 West Belt South in District G. The renovations will be covered by the fire consolidated construction fund and will begin in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

District C will also see several improvements made to roads, including Dunlavy, Greenbriar, West Alabama and University Boulevard, with construction slated to begin in 2017 for most projects.