Union City is planning to transform a historic building at 420 15th St. that used to house a branch of the library into a three-story senior center, art gallery, historical museum, and community meeting space.
At the regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, officials discussed their plans and voted for roof repairs to the building.
“Right now, it has been completely gutted,” said Commissioner Christopher Irizarry after the meeting. “It used to be the library. The mayor was interested in preserving the building because it is such an old building. It is a part of our history.”
The town still has two other library branches, at 18th and 43rd streets.
Irizarry said the new project may take up to a year and a half to complete.
The top priority, he said, is fixing the severely damaged roof. The commissioners approved a resolution to accept bids for the installation of a new one.
The ground floor of the project will contain a senior center, as well as community rooms and a kitchen.
“The community rooms will also be used by the community for people who can’t afford to rent a hall to have a birthday party or stuff like that,” said Commissioner Lucio Fernandez. “We will also have the senior birthday parties here and so on. So, there will be many senior activities there.”
The second floor, he said, will have an art gallery and concert hall in one room.
“The art gallery that we have at City Hall right now would be held here,” said Fernandez. “So, on opening night – we will try to acquire a grand piano – we’ll have a classical concert, mostly classical music and jazz.” He added that the exhibit would change every month.
The second floor will also have a historical museum focusing on Union City.
“Artifacts that we have in storage and in possession, we’ll display here,” said Fernandez.
Another meeting room with tables and chairs will be on the third floor.
“Meetings could be held there,” said Fernandez. “Senior parties could be held there. Our dinners for the seniors will be held there. That sort of thing.”
He added that with an elevator in the building, everything will be accessible to the disabled.
The commissioners also approved a resolution to sell by public auction two vehicles confiscated during police investigations. The vehicles include a 2000 Mercedes Benz S Class, starting at a minimum bid of $12,000, and a 1994 Isuzu Rodeo Sport Utility Vehicle, with a minimum bid of $500. Proceeds will be deposited in the Drug Enforcement Administration Account of Union City and the Law Enforcement Trust Fund Account of Union City to help fund programs to fight similar crimes.
The time and place for the public auction have not yet been determined.
At the meeting, the commissioners also approved the appointments of Carlos Vallejo and Juana Vanderhorst to the Board of Trustees of the Union City Day Care Program, at 219 47th St.
Comments may be sent to email@example.com.