Library's Expansion  | Newspaper Articles

Council ponders Leominster library needs
Count of bathrooms, refrigerators, microwaves raises questions about expansion
Mary Jo Hill, Telegram & Gazette, October 6, 2006

LEOMINSTER— Questions continued to swirl around the library project yesterday, with city councilors asking if the building will have 12 bathrooms and why it needs three full-sized refrigerators, a minifridge and three microwaves.

The council’s Finance Committee was considering the second reading of a loan order that would allow Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella to borrow up to $1.3 million more to finish the expansion and renovation of the library.

Rather than make a recommendation, the committee asked for more time, since a public hearing will be held Tuesday on the request.

Councilor Wayne A. Nickel suggested more time, with Councilor Dennis A. Rosa adding, “In case there’s new information, you never know.”

Mr. Rosa started the discussion by acknowledging the request for additional money has been controversial, sparking a minority and majority report on the Finance Committee.

But Mr. Rosa emphasized the committee is only divided about how to fund the request for $1.3 million.

“We all support the project. I want to make that very clear,” he said. “Again, we all support the library and it’s a matter of how we fund it.”

Some councilors have suggested finding sources other than a loan for the additional funding to avoid a bigger tax hike. But Mr. Mazzarella has said he cannot commit to other sources yet because it is too early in the fiscal year, but he will do his best to minimize borrowing.

Last night, Councilor John M. Dombrowski asked if councilors were shown plans when they originally voted on the project.

Councilor Robert A. Salvatelli handed him a notebook with information.

“I heard there were 12 bathrooms,” Mr. Dombrowski said as he looked through the notebook.

Councilor James J. Lanciani Jr. told him there are. The children’s area has child-sized commodes, which is a safety issue so the youngsters do not have to go to the other end of the building.

There also are staff bathrooms, and others for the public, Mr. Lanciani said.

Mr. Nickel said he did not know how many of those bathrooms were required.

He provided an example of someone he knew building a pizza shop in the city who would have had to build two fully handicapped accessible bathrooms if he put tables — rather than just a counter — in the shop.

Mr. Rosa said the library has indicated it needs three full-sized refrigerators, a minifridge and three microwave ovens when it opens.

He said he assumes there is a break room, but with that number of appliances there must be break rooms on three floors, he said.

He asked whether there was a dining facility in City Hall.

Mr. Lanciani said a microwave and a refrigerator are in the janitor’s room and there is a microwave at the back wall of the auditorium.

Plans posted on the library’s Web site show space in the building designated as a café and other space for a staff room.



Project Overview
Plans and Drawings
Temporary Library

Construction Blog

Building Committee
Newspaper Articles