Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
Appleseed absence questioned
Anna L. Griffin, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August
LEOMINSTER - Where's Johnny?
That's the question that was asked by several passers-by at
the Leominster Public Library's 30 West St. site.
Work on the exterior of the building has started in
anticipation of a construction and renovation project.
The bust of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, that stood
near the entrance to the building is gone, but it is in a
safe and secure location.
"We thought we would store the sculpture on site, but after
thinking about it some more, we felt it would be best to
store the sculpture," said Susan T. Shelton, library
Once construction work is completed, the bust done by
sculptor Phil Cote will make a return to the library. "It
hasn't yet been decided where we're going to place him, but
Johnny Appleseed will return," Mrs. Shelton said.
The removal of the statue is one of the more visible aspects
of the project. Fencing by the general contractor, Fontaine
Bros. of West Springfield, is in place.
"They're working on asbestos abatement at this point and
there has been some other work outside, such as the removal
of some trees," Mrs. Shelton said.
Construction crews recently removed the walkway to the
library from West Street. "As time goes on, work will become
more visible," she noted. Demolition of the 1960 addition to
the library should start taking place near the end of the
The library project is expected to cost approximately $10
million and if all goes as planned the work should be
completed by the fall of 2006.
Preliminary work on securing the funding for the library
started several years ago and if the library is completed on
schedule, it will have been a 71/2-year project. A
groundbreaking for the construction phase of the project was
held July 1.
The architect for the project is Adams & Smith LLC, Beacon
Architectural Associates,. Construction will be handled by
Fontaine Bros. of West Springfield and McKenzie Engineering
is handling project management.
"With the combination of the architects, project managers
and the construction company, I feel we have a great group
of people working on this for our city."
The city of Leominster has received a $3 million state grant
toward the estimated $10.8 million expansion and renovation
project that will result in a facility that is 44,500 square
feet, more than double the size of the old facility.
During the project, the library is being temporarily housed
at Crossroads Office Park, 690 Mechanic St.