Published in the July 19, 2017 edition
LYNNFIELD – The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to place the Lynnfield Public Library on a wait-list for a provisional construction grant.
The grant is part of the state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) which helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities.
Attendance at public library programs has increased 49 percent since 2006 and every 5.5 seconds a Massachusetts resident accesses the Internet through a public library.
“The Commonwealth’s local public libraries provide individuals of all ages with invaluable resources that they otherwise might not be able to access,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is pleased to once again support this important grant program that invests in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
Thirty-three libraries completed the grant round process. Through a rigorous review, nine libraries were identified to receive grants and 24 were placed on a wait-list. Wait-listed libraries will receive construction grants as the funding becomes available either through the existing bond bill or a future bond authorization.
Grant status “consistent” with capital timeline
“Lynnfield residents support the library and are using it more than ever. Our grant status is consistent with our request to receive funding in a few years, in order to be in line with the capital timeline and financial plan of the town. We are excited about the future of the library,” stated Library Director Holly Mercer.
Located at Reedy Meadow, the proposed new building will be 25,874 square feet and include abundant parking, meeting and program spaces, expanded youth services and additional patron seating.
According to Mercer, “The space has been created with the user in mind, with flexible and adaptive spaces taking advantage of the scenic golf course view designed to inspire, stimulate creativity, encourage collaboration and communication, as well as reflect both the goals and values of the community.”
Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. Funding for this grant round is part of the general governmental needs bond bill filed in March 2013, which included $150 million for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. This funding was also used to award construction grants to 11 communities that had been on a wait-list for several years and will be used to support a future Planning and Design grant round.
“The total project costs for the library building is $21,426,278 with the grant amount being $8,193,792,” Mercer told the Villager.
She added, “The library will be sharing details about what comes next for the project in the next few months.”
MPLCP library building projects are currently underway in Hopkinton, Leicester, Scituate, Sherborn, Stoughton and Woburn. Communities with recently completed projects include Eastham, Edgartown, Framingham, Reading, Shrewsbury and West Springfield.
The MPLCP was first funded in 1987. Since then, the program has assisted hundreds of communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information about the program, please visit the MBLC’s website at https://mblc.state.ma.us.