The countdown has started for Scituate Town Library, which has nine months to fund the remainder of a $12 million expansion and renovation after the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners on Friday announced a $4.9 million grant for the project.
The fund-raising has already started, with proponents doing outreach at a number of library functions, including the annual Library Gala, private fund-raising events, and even starting a “1,000 Homes for the Scituate Library Campaign”, which is seeking 1,000 donors who will contribute $1,000 or more over a four-year period to help the library.
Library officials could not be immediately reached for comment Friday, but according to a release, project proponents plan to obtain the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification, which would qualify Scituate’s library to receive an additional $100,000 through the Green Library incentive program.
“The grant is part of the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program which helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities,” officials said in a release.
The state funding for the Scituate project was initially authorized by Governor Deval Patrick in mid-August. The state has been providing money for these projects since the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was first funded in 1987.
Twenty-five years later, the program has helped nearly 200 communities build new libraries or renovate and expand old ones.
Scituate Town Library proponents are hoping they can be the next with the use of this funding, though it still has to raise $5 million through donations, plus $2 million in the form of a town override to accomplish the goal. If they don't raise the money in nine months, they'll lose the $4.9 million matching grant.
Currently, the plan is to renovate the interior, update the roofs, and add a well-lit expansion, complete with more meeting rooms and more space for library programming.
The renovation would increase the square footage 35 percent to 32,000 square feet and give the library it’s first update since new paint, wallpaper, and upstairs carpet were added in 1999.
Preliminary plans and conceptual schematic drawings are on display in the library, and
on the library website at www.scituatetownlibrary.org.