Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
July 3, 2005
Ground broken for library - 2006 finish slated for job in
Anna L. Griffin
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
LEOMINSTER - Neither rain nor pessimism deterred the
groundbreaking ceremony for the Leominster Public Library's
expansion and renovation project.
The event was held under cloudy skies Friday morning at the
entrance to the library, 30 West St., but the mood was
"Today is a day to celebrate," said Gilbert Tremblay,
chairman of the board of library trustees and master of
ceremonies for the groundbreaking.
The library's expansion and renovation project will cost
approximately $10 million and should be completed by the
fall of 2006 if all goes as planned, said Susan T. Shelton,
"And from beginning to end, from the time this project was
started to our expected completion, will have been about
seven-and-a-half years," she said.
Mrs. Shelton thanked a number of people who had helped get
the process going and keep it going. She had a special note
of thanks for all of the library patrons who came out to
support the project at public hearings.
Among those enthusiastic in their support for the project
were members of the Dearden family.
Vanilce Dearden and her three children - twins Jonathan and
Benjamin, 5, and 17-month old Derrick - sat in the front row
at the ceremony. Ms. Dearden clicked photographs of the
speakers throughout the program.
"I am so happy to see this take place," Ms. Dearden said.
"We come to the library so often. We know everyone and we're
so happy for them. We're happy for us, as well. This is
going to be great.
"I feel like the library staff is my family. That's why I am
so happy for them. It's like a family celebration."
That sentiment was echoed by state Rep. Robert A. Antonioni,
D-Leominster, who shared a story about one of his
experiences at the library. Mr. Antonioni said he had just
finished the second book in a three-book series on President
Lyndon B. Johnson and was eager to complete the trilogy.
"I came to the library to look for the third book in the
series and I couldn't find it among the shelves. So I asked
one of the librarians where the book was. She did a little
research for me and then said, `It hasn't been written
About two years later, Mr. Antonioni said, he was in his
office when his legislative aide, Wendy Wiiks, told him
someone from the library had called.
"She told me they wanted me to know the book was in," Mr.
Antonioni told the crowd.
Children received yellow plastic "hard hats" and, in a
separate ceremony, they could also help break ground for the
new facility. Afterward, everyone was welcome to walk
through the old library one last time before construction
The architect for the project is Adams & Smith LLC, Beacon
Architectural Associates; construction will be handled by
Fontaine Bros. of West Springfield; McKenzie Engineering is
in charge of project management.
The city of Leominster has received a $3 million state grant
toward the estimated $10.8 million expansion and renovation
project, which will result in a 44,500-square-foot building
- more than double the size of the old library.
During the project, the library is being temporarily housed
at Crossroads Office Park, 690 Mechanic St.
The groundbreaking ceremony also formally kicked off a
fund-raising effort. For more information on the project or
the fund raising, call the library.