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Flower Library trustees discuss using murals to hide renovation projects

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If all goes according to plan, the cracking facade and crumbling fountains at Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., may be a source of inspiration for artists.

At the last two meetings of the library’s board of trustees, Trustee Keith B. Coughlin has been discussing the idea of having a mural or painted screen created by local painters placed in front of the building when construction begins next year.

The screen or mural would depict what the finished project will look like, while blocking a potential eyesore.

“I spoke to Kari Robertson, who was involved in the city mural project a few years ago,” Mr. Coughlin said at Tuesday’s meeting. “She’s familiar with that process and thought the arts community might respond favorably.”

Mrs. Robertson, former North County Arts Council president, said the project is in its nascent stage.

“It’s a nebulous cloud of a conversation that has no foundation,” she said. “Nothing has gone through.”

To attract artists, the trustees need to explain what they want to achieve, send proposals to select artists and create a budget, Mr. Coughlin said.

The cracked, saucer-shaped fountains were supposed to be fixed by the beginning of the month, according to a report from a trustees meeting in May. However, the $68,000 project never got off the ground.

“What happened was they were going to have the fountains bid off, but none came in because it wasn’t a big enough job,” said board President Constance A. Holberg.

The City Council and library trustees are hoping there will be more bids if the facade and fountain projects are combined.

Cosmetic work was done to the fountain before the Fireball Run on Sept. 25. Additionally, roof work is being done this week to fix the library’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

“They somehow nudged the piece of the fountain that was crumbling off in place,” Mrs. Holberg said.

Mrs. Holberg said she is leaving a time line for the projects up to the council.

“I’d like it to be done tomorrow,” she said. “It’s dragged on too long.”

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