Library and museum to get refurb - 86 years on!

KIRKCALDY;'Art Gallery ; Jennifer Thomson and Dallas Meechan 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Art Gallery ; Jennifer Thomson and Dallas Meechan 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

KIRKCALDY library and museum is set to be given a new lease of life, in the first major works on the building for 86 years.

The iconic Kirkcaldy building, which overlooks the memorial gardens, is being brought into the 21st century.

And bosses hope the extensive refurbishment will attract new visitors, bring the library and museum up to date, as well as preserving the history the building already holds.

Essential upgrades

Work will begin on the £2.4 million project at the end of October, with the library and museum closing completely on December 3.It is hoped the project will be finished by spring 2013, when the building will re-open with a completely new interior, as well as major essential upgrades to the roof and heating systems, which have not changed since 1928.

Dorothy Browse, service manager for libraries, museums and archives, told the Press: “There will be a lot of work to things that wont be immediately visible to people but utterly essential things that will make the building warmer and watertight.”

One of the major changes visitors will see is a new cafe which will have views over the memorial gardens, while an activity area will mean there will be space for a whole school class to congregate - currently impossible.

Staff will remove the 37,000 books, hundreds of artefacts and paintings from the building during December, distributing the contents between a temporary home on the High Street, Sinclairtown Library and storage.

“A selection of the adult and children’s library, as well as PCs, will be moved to a shop on the High Street,” Jennifer Thomson, libraries team leader, said. “The local family history collection, along with the staff for that, will be based at Sinclairtown Library for the duration of the works.

“While works are going on, we will be doing things that mean when we re-open we will have better ability to give people information.”

New exhibition

Staff at the museum and art gallery are also set to be kept busy over the coming 18 months, putting together a new exhibition for the re-opening in 2013.

Dallas Mechan, museum and heritage development manager, said: “We are having a new museum display which is a very considerable amount of work - researching stories, putting them together and involving the public in all of that.”

Environmental improvements to the building will also mean new collections and visiting exhibitions that were previously unable to come to Kirkcaldy will now be able to do so.