Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
'New' library eagerly awaited - Exterior entices patrons, but
inside not ready
Anna L. Griffin, Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
February 12, 2007
LEOMINSTER - Appearances can be deceiving.
With the exterior work of Leominster Public Library nearly
completed, people have been trying to make their way into
the building; some have been successful.No trespassing signs
are in place for good reason. "It's a safety issue. This is
an active construction site," said library Director Susan
"I guess people are anxious for the project to be
completed," she said. "But there's still a lot of work that
has to be done on the interior of the building."
Mrs. Shelton said construction work on the interior
continues, and no part of the project is open.
An opening date of late spring - sometime in June - is being
looked at, Mrs. Shelton said. That date is contingent upon a
number of things, such as completion of the interior work
and the installation of carpeting and shelving. The
carpeting and shelving should each take three weeks to
"Then, we have to take all of the books and other materials
that we placed into storage - actually three-quarters of our
collection - out of storage and place them back into the new
facility," Mrs. Shelton said.
Add to that time to place new furnishings, such as desks,
and to train the staff to handle a new telephone system as
well as time needed to familiarize the staff with the
building and, "An opening is still a number of weeks away,"
Mrs. Shelton observed.
"But when we do open, we know the public will be very
pleased with what they see," Mrs. Shelton said. "We have an
amazing facility - one that everyone in the city will be
Those who can't wait can "see" some of the work that has
been done by visiting the library's Web site
www.leominsterlibrary.org and viewing the "new photos"
section under the construction blog.
"I am as impressed with the work done on the original
library as I am with the new addition," Mrs. Shelton said.
The original library is a two-story Roman brick structure
with limestone trim that was built in 1910 with partial
funding from Andrew Carnegie. It is part of the Monument
Square Historic District, listed in the National Register of
A 10,000-square-foot warehouse-like addition was opened in
In May 2005, the library moved to its current location at
Crossroad Offices Park, 690 Mechanic St. A July
groundbreaking was held that marked the official start of
the project. The project will expand the library to 44,513
square feet, with 55 adjacent parking spaces.
This was achieved by renovating the 1910 building and
constructing a 34,434-square-foot addition. Entrances to the
building will be on both West and Pearl streets.
In addition to money from the state and local government to
cover the costs of construction, the library has undertaken
a private fundraising effort to pay for such things as
The private fundraising effort, with a goal of $1.2 million,
has just reached the $1 million mark. A gala auction, with
both live and silent components, is scheduled to benefit
this fund with all proceeds to be used for furniture,
fixtures and equipment.
The 150th Anniversary Auction will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
March 24 in Tata Auditorium, City Hall, 25 West St. Tickets
to the event are $25 each. In addition to the auction, there
will be refreshments and a cash bar. Those who are
interested in making a donation to the auction or the
building fund can call the library at (978) 534-7522.