Library's Expansion  | Newspaper Articles

July 3, 2005

Ground broken for library - 2006 finish slated for job in Leominster
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 decidedly sunny.

"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, library director.

"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 yet.'"

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 begins.

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.



Project Overview
Plans and Drawings
Temporary Library

Construction Update
Building Committee
Newspaper Articles