Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
Leominster library project to start
T&G STAFF, February 16, 2004
LEOMINSTER- Ground should be broken in November on an
enlarged and renovated Leominster Public Library, and the
search has begun for a site to house the facility's
collection during 16 months of construction.
Library Director Susan T. Shelton said Beacon Architectural
Associates of Boston had been awarded the design contract
for the $10.8 million job.
The architectural firm's fee is approximately $770,000, or
9.26 percent of the construction cost, Purchasing Agent
Gregory C. Chapdelaine said in a recent interview. The
construction cost for the library is $8.3 million, with just
over $3 million from a state grant.
The remainder of the tab includes furniture, architectural
and interior design fees and a temporary library site, among
other expenses, Mr. Chapdelaine said Friday.
Ms. Shelton said Beacon Architectural Associates had more
than 40 years experience in the state, and its portfolio
includes institutions of higher learning as well as private
"Renovations and additions to historic libraries and public
projects that reinvigorate city centers are a specialty of
this team," according to a prepared statement from the firm.
Ms. Shelton said the recently appointed Library Building
Committee had just begun reviewing the 3-year-old schematic
drawings for an enlarged library facility with the
The committee includes Ms. Shelton, Jim Andrews, Mark
Bodanza, former Mayor John McLaughlin, Susan A. Chalifoux
Zephir and library trustees Carol Millette and Gil Tremblay.
Library Board of Trustees Chairman Robert D. Allen is ex
officio a member of the committee.
The membership will work with the architects through June on
final designs for the expansion and renovation. The current
20,000-square-foot library at 30 West St. will more than
double in size, to 44,513 square feet. Of that, 35,000
square feet will be new construction, and the addition built
in 1966 will be demolished.
"We hope to go out to bid in early fall, and we hope to
begin construction in November," Ms. Shelton said. If all
goes according to plan, the expanded facility will open its
doors in February 2006 in time for the library's 150th
Among the features of the new library will be a 130-seat
auditorium, a larger public meeting space and a separate
room for the audio-visual collection. The original West
Street entrance will be reopened, although most visitors
will enter from the enlarged Pearl Street parking lot.
Two nearby houses are slated for demolition to make way for
the expansion, since the city has so far found no takers
willing to move them off the site, Mr. Chapdelaine said.
Ms. Shelton said the West Street site will be vacated during
the construction work, and the search for a temporary
alternative site is now under way.
She said she is hoping to find a handicapped-accessible site
within 1½ to 2 miles of downtown with adjacent parking. Its
floors will need to be able to hold 150 pounds per square
foot, and the facility also will need to have the wiring
capacity to handle the library computer network, she said.
How much of the library's collection will be moved to the
temporary site has not been determined, Ms. Shelton said,
though she expects new books, the audio-visual collection
and children's programs all will remain immediately
available to the public.