News on the JP Branch Library Renovation

Our Facebook page has a Photo Album chronicling the renovation! We welcome community submissions to be included.

The BPL is no longer providing updates

October 6, 2016

The interior finishes are underway including fixtures, paint and millwork. The addition is now fully enclosed. The construction trailers have been relocated to enable landscaping work to begin. Concrete will be poured in the driveway and on the terrace over the coming weeks. New furniture will begin to arrive in January 2017.

New and of note: Over the next several months there will be a public process to identify opportunities for exterior public art which will be funded in part through the construction project.  The process will be led by the Boston Art Commission and there will be great opportunity for the JP community to participate and inform the selection process.

The project remains on schedule for re-opening in Spring 2017.

September 12, 2016

The permanent power has been installed but not yet lined up. Boston Water & Sewer Commission inspections have been completed per the approved drawings, but still waiting on plumber to get the permanent water meter.  Ran pressure test to determine air content; Verbal Report: air content test is okay; waiting on the final written test result.  The sand blasting was redone and is now completed.  Modern Glass continues to install the glass curtainwall. (Did you notice the dots and the BPL in the glass??) The telephone/data conduit will be installed after the mason cleans out of driveway area on Sedgwick Street.  Elevator work is ongoing, with an approximate five week duration.  Irrigation and landscaping started in early August and planting started in mid-September.  The project remains on schedule for re-opening in Spring 2017.

no August update received

July 22, 2016

Elevator work was started the first week of July.The extension's curtainwall framing is ongoing, the clear glass is being installed now. Nearly all glass (except CW7 and panels with letters) will be onsite by 8/26. The plan is for Eversource to start on the permanent power connection soon (after inspection). The project remains on schedule for re-opening in Spring 2017.

Community Impacts

Partial street closures on Sedgwick Street are expected through the remainder of July and August. Colantonio will take measures to minimize the closures as much as possible whenever construction activities allow.

June 16, 2016

Concrete work is underway for the Reading Terrace retaining wall along Sedgwick Street. The terrace area will be backfilled in the coming weeks.  The exterior limestone has been installed at the new front entry. Additional stone work on the south side of the addition is expected once the retaining wall is backfilled. Restored windows are being reinstalled in the original building. The large wall opening between the existing building and new addition has been made. The opening has been protected with plywood while the addition is unenclosed. Check our Facebook album (link above) for some images!

The furniture package has been posted for bidding. Vendor responses will be reviewed in July.  The project remains on schedule for re-opening in Spring 2017.

Note: Intermittent street closures on Sedgwick Street are expected through the remainder of June and July. 

May 13, 2016

The current status is the project is moving forward and on schedule. On Wednesday, May 11 some BPL staff were able to tour the branch which is about 50% complete. Check the Facebook page for images of the new interior stairs that they took (link above).

More details: Interior stairs have been installed between the lower level, level 1 and the mezzanine; the footings for the reading terrace along Sedgwick Street are complete. Architectural concrete walls for the terrace wall will be ongoing for the next several weeks; the curtain wall frames for the west addition will be installed in late May. Glass installation will follow separately; roofing decks are complete. Roofing installation will commence next week and installation of the building systems continues. In June, the furniture package will be released for bidding. 

April  14, 2016

Construction Update: Structural steel of the west addition is nearly complete. Installation of the associated roof deck underway; fabrication of the new interior stairs is in progress; framing of interior partition walls in the lower level is in progress. framing of the exterior wall for the Maker Space and Workroom is in progress; the new floor of the multi-purpose room has been installed; rough-in of electrical, plumbing, mechanical and fire protection systems continues at the existing building.

The project remains on schedule for re-opening in Spring 2017.

Community Impacts

Parking along Sedgwick Street will be unavailable adjacent to the library due to ongoing construction activities. Residents who are impacted by the restrictions are welcome to park nearby at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on St. Joseph Street.

March 2016

Steel at the west addition is being installed; CMU block walls are being constructed at the NE addition for the new elevator shaft; framing of the exterior wall at the NW addition (circulation workroom) is scheduled to commence in April; rough-in of systems continues inside the building; excavation related to the reading terrace foundation wall is expected to commence in early April; and curtain wall frames for the west addition are expected to ship in late March and will be installed in early April. Glazing will be ordered after the frame is in place, but installation of the glass is not expected for several months yet. The project remains on schedule.

Community Impacts A community meeting was held on 3/10 to discuss the construction activities along Sedgwick Street including parking and traffic-related impacts. The following information was discussed: 

  • Beginning Monday, 3/14, Sedgwick Street will be closed to thru-traffic between the hours of 7am-4pm when work is taking place. Sedgwick Street will reopen to thru-traffic between 4pm-7am.
  • Utility work on South Street will be limited to the hours of 9:30am – 3:30pm.
  • During this work, street parking along Sedgwick Street will be unavailable in front of the Library building due to the presence of heavy equipment/vehicles. 
  • Supplemental parking is being provided for residents at the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on South Street. Curtis Hall also offered over-night parking for Sedgwick residents provided that vehicles are moved in the early morning for Community Center patrons.
  • The street-related work is expected to conclude by the end of June. At that time, the road will be re-opened to thru-traffic 24-hrs/day. 
  • Street parking on Sedgwick Street in front of the library will remain unavailable through the summer due to ongoing construction activities.

February 1, 2016:

The foundations for the (2) north additions and west addition have been completed. The masonry walls at the new entrance and west addition near Sedgwick Street are also complete. Waterproofing of the foundations is in progress. Rough-in of electrical, plumbing, mechanical and fire protection systems is underway at the existing building. Structural steel is expected to begin installation next week.   The project remains on schedule.

Note to the Community: Colantonio expects to close the west end of Sedgwick Street (in front of the Library) to traffic between the hours of 7am-4pm from March 1st – April 10th to accommodate necessary utility work for the building. An 11’ travel lane will be provided for thru-traffic during all other times. Signage and police details will be provided during the closure. Residents who are impacted by the traffic and parking restrictions are welcome to park nearby at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on Saint Joseph Street.

further note on closure of Sedgwick Street

The reason for the temporary closure of Sedgwick Street is to build the foundation of the new reading terrace. The road will need to be temporarily closed to allow equipment and construction vehicles to access the area.

The dates of March 1st-April 10th reflect the duration listed in the permit application. The actual dates that work will take place may vary, and the impact to thru-traffic on Sedgwick Street will be minimized accordingly. Also, the BPL has learned that the dates for this work are subject to the date that DPW lifts the winter moratorium for digging in the street which may affect the actual start/finish date that was noted previously. Colantonio will keep BPL and the City updated on the schedule for these events as they become more definitive. The information will be shared with the community as well. 

Additional information about the closure is as follows:  

Sidewalk access along the south side of Sedgwick Street will be maintained throughout the duration of the work.

A police detail will be requested during the street closure to assist with traffic and pedestrians.

On the days that work takes place, the road will be closed from 7am – 4pm.  An 11’ travel lane will be provided for thru-traffic during all other times.

Whenever possible, accommodations will be made to lessen the impact on abutters.

An information session will also be scheduled prior to the commencement of work to address any further questions or concerns from the community. If you would like to send questions in advance of the meeting, please send them to my attention ( so that they may be addressed collectively.

December 2015: 

The foundation work of the north and west additions is well underway.  In the existing building, rough-in of the new electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems is occurring.  The conclusion of construction activities should happen in the Winter of 2017.  The City and the architectural team are working on interior options and getting the procurement process going while the building team completes that work. 

On September 25, 2015 the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the renovation was held.  Mayor Marty Walsh, Councilor Matt O'Malley, Interim BPL President David Leonard, Rep. Liz Malia and other dignitaries (including JP Friends co-chair Don Haber!) spoke and had the ceremonial "shovel picture".   

Project Milestones
  • Conclusion of construction activities Winter 2017
  • BPL procurement orders to start Fall 2016 
  • BPL move-in activities are targeted late Winter/Spring 2017
  • Potential re-opening date is Spring 2017

 Check the BPL's Capital Project page for ongoing updates and documents about the JP Branch renovation.