Your Community: Cedar Roe gets new roof and interior refresh

Cedar Roe Library is a well-loved neighborhood branch in Roeland Park, but it’s in the midst of a two-month closure for roof repairs and other improvements. The branch located at 5120 Cedar St., closed Oct. 29 and is anticipated to reopen Dec. 30. This closure allows the Johnson County facilities management department to replace the flat portion of the Library roof that no longer drains properly. Crews have been removing old roofing layers down to the decking and replacing them, allowing the roof to once again slope a bit to facilitate drainage and stop leaks around windows and columns in the Library.

The roof work is being done by Godard & Son Roofing Co. at a cost of $58,391, well below the original $100,000 estimate. The lengthy closure is needed because the process to submit the materials and work are complicated and required a third-party approval and the roofers can’t work when there’s a threat of rain. It is a noisy, disruptive job and the parking lot had to be blocked off for equipment, so the decision was made to close the Library for the duration. The closure allows time for a deep cleaning of Cedar Roe’s interior, including shampooing the carpet and dusting thoroughly. Crews will also do some miscellaneous work, including replacing stained ceiling tiles, improving lighting, and painting doors where the paint has chipped away.

The Library is valued by long-time residents and young families from the nearby walkable residential neighborhoods, said assistant branch manager Alice Pierson, who is the Library’s point person on this capital improvement project. “My hope is that we’re able to welcome them back and have a fresh face on the Library,” Pierson said. “We’ll have things spruced up and make sure that the community understands that we’re invested in the building and investing in our relationship with them.” Despite the roof leaks and the need for other repairs, the 50-yearold building is generally in very good shape, Pierson said.

It was built as a Library in 1969 and has a distinctive architectural character, with a pitched wood ceiling in parts of the building, large windows and lots of natural light. The design won the 1970 Medal Award presented by the Kansas City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for Excellence in Design. The pitched roof portion does not need to be replaced at this time. In 2018 Cedar Roe welcomed 335 people per day on average and had a total of 95,496 visitors that year.

Cedar Roe’s staff has worked hard to spread the word to patrons about the closure. Their holds for books and other materials during that time are available at Antioch Library, less than two miles from Cedar Roe. People who had reserved the meeting room were alerted to find alternate spaces until the end of the year. The Library’s employees were reassigned to other branches during the closure.

For updates on the progress of the new roof and to find out where staff is during the closure, visit the Cedar Roe Updates page.

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