×

Newbury: Town approves library architect

  • The Newbury Public Library


Friday, March 17, 2017

Residents approved $50,000 to hire an architect to consider expanding the public library.

“We’re really thrilled,” said library board of trustees Chairwoman Lynn Tuohy.

“This is something we’ve been working on, literally, since 2013,” Tuohy said.

At that time, they had hired a consultant, who recommended the library expand its programming.

In 2016, the library held some 180 programs with about 2,400 children and adults, Tuohy said.

The library was last expanded from one room to its current 2,300 square feet in 1999. The consultant’s report said the library was “bursting at the seams.”

Next, the library will send out requests for proposals and select a low bidder who has experience designing 21st-century libraries, Tuohy said. The architect will hold focus groups with the community, then come up with blueprints and estimates. Tuohy said she doesn’t expect that will be ready for next year’s warrant.

Tuohy said she hopes the plan will double the library’s size and give them more space to hold regularly occurring programs and to expand their offerings to teenage patrons.

A separate article to raise $15,000 by taxation to fund a facilitator for new safety services facilities also passed after some discussion, Town Administrator Dennis Pavlicek said.

He said some residents said they could do without and should instead form a volunteer committee. Other residents said the town tried that in the past, according to Pavlicek, and it did not go well.

All other warrant articles passed as written, including the $3.9 million operating budget.

Sarah Kinney