WILMINGTON, MA — Town Manager Jeff Hull announced at Monday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting that the Wilmington Memorial Library is taking preliminary steps to explore the costs of a limited renovation project.
“The Board of Library Trustees will be meeting to consider a proposal by Library Director Tina Stewart to conduct a pre-design architectural and engineering feasibility study that evaluates the cost of making renovations to the Wilmington Memorial Library,” reported Hull in a memo he summarized. “These renovations would be intended to increase space on the second floor of the library for meetings and other purposes by potentially adding two rooms. The study would take into account the implications of these additional rooms with respect to building and accessibility codes and will provide a preliminary construction cost.”
Hull emphasized that the study would be funded through the library’s state aid and any construction would be funded with monies from the library’s Barbara Johnson donation account. Johnson, who passed away in 2015, left her hometown library an astonishing $350,000 donation. The account’s amount now stands at $386,000.
Specifically, Hull said the study will focus on two spaces to potentially create new rooms — (1) next to the second-floor elevator and (2) top of the front stairwell leading to the children’s room.
“Under the Facility Master Plan’s schedule, the Wilmington Memorial Library will not be addressed until 2034,” Hull told Selectmen. “The proposal to be considered by the Trustees would make limited modifications to the existing building to accommodate the demand for additional space for the variety of programs that continue to be offered by the library.”
The Wilmington Board of Library Trustees will discuss the proposal to commission a feasibility study at its next meeting on Tuesday, August 21 at 7pm in the library’s Banda Conference Room. The meeting is open to the public.
20 Years In The Making?
A building needs assessment was conducted for the library in 1998, identifying “the inadequacies of the building to accommodate new technology and to meet the varied services residents now expired.”
In April 2002, Town Meeting voters approved $550,000 for the design of a new library at the old Whitefield School site. The vote, however, was overturned at a Special Town Meeting four months later, where residents expressed a desire to see the library stay near the Town Common.
In July 2005, the library received a state construction grant in the amount of $3.4 million to build a new library on the Town Common at the old Swain School site. In November 2005, however, voters rejected the authorization to fund the remainder of the construction cost at $8.3 million.
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