FROM THE LEFT ARE Mayor Paul Brodeur, Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian, Fifth Middlesex District Director Sarah Zeiberg, City Council President Jennifer Grigoraitis, Tappe Architects President Charles Hay, City Planner Denise Gaffey, Municipal Building Consultants President Patrick Saitta, City Councilor Ryan Williams, Library Board of Trustees Chair Carol Hoffman, Massachusetts Library Board Commissioner Mary Ann Cluggish, Director of Melrose Public Library Linda Gardener. (Photo by Raj Das, edphotos.com)
MELROSE — Ahead of the mid-January demolition of the 1960s-era Melrose Public Library addition by Castagna Construction, Melrose Mayor Paul Brodeur hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Melrose Public Library Renovation Project at the Melrose Public Library, located at 69 West Emerson Street, on Wednesday, January 11, at 11 a.m.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Brodeur, State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian, and Massachusetts Library Board Commissioner Mary Ann Cluggish provided remarks.
“As someone who grew up in Melrose and raised my kids here, the Melrose Public Library and this moment, in particular, is very special to me,” said Mayor Brodeur. “Libraries are the great community connector. They connect people to information, and they connect people to one another. We want a library for the next hundred years. This project that we’re celebrating today is more than an investment in a building, it’s an investment in our community—an investment that will benefit every single Melrose resident for generations to come.”
“As a life-long reader, the daughter of journalists, a former public school teacher, and the mother to two school-aged sons, I submit there is no more important—and American—institution in a community than its public library,” said State Representative Lipper-Garabedian. “Libraries empower individuals to pursue independent areas of interest and foster and deepen communal connectivity. They serve an ongoing mission of empowering learning and inspiration. This groundbreaking is a testament to our collective recognition of the Melrose Public Library’s foundational significance in our community.”
“This groundbreaking is a harbinger of so many good things to come; a day only to be exceeded by the grand opening,” said Mary Ann Cluggish, Massachusetts Library Board Commissioner. “It’s not easy to find the money to renovate and build an addition for a library, but Melrose has done it right: under the leadership of the Trustees and especially Library Director Linda Gardener and your Library the library staff, and before that the vision of many others. Thanks to Mayor Brodeur for his leadership, and let’s not forget the resounding YES votes of your City Council.”
Remarks were followed by an official groundbreaking complete with hard hats and shovels performed by Mayor Brodeur; City Council President Jen Grigoraitis; Melrose Public Library Director Linda Gardener; Representative Lipper-Garabedian; Senator Lewis’s District Director Sarah Zeiberg; Melrose Planning Director Denise Gaffey; Tappe Architects President Charles Hay; Castagna Construction Corporation President Abe Hafiani; Municipal Building Consultants President Patrick Saitta; Chair of the Melrose Board of Library Trustees; and Massachusetts Library Board Commissioner Cluggish.
The Melrose Public Library Renovation Project will ensure an accessible, modern, and energy-efficient library for future generations.
In July 2021, the City of Melrose received $8.1 million in grants from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to fund the renovation of the historic Melrose Public Library building and the construction of a modern addition to replace the outdated 1960s-era addition. That same month, the Melrose Board of Library Trustees also committed $2.2 million toward the project, and in October 2021 the Melrose City Council unanimously approved a bond authorization to provide the remaining $10.8 million needed to fund the balance of the $21 million project.
In October 2022 the City awarded the construction contract to Castagna Construction. In November 2022 a construction fence was installed around the perimeter of the property. Work is now moving forward inside the building to remove hazardous materials safely in preparation for the demolition of the 1960s-era addition.
The City of Melrose expects the project to reach completion in Spring 2024. The library is currently operating out of the former Beebe School at 263 West Foster. To learn more about the MPL renovation project, visit https://melrosepubliclibrary.org/building-project/