Seekonk in Line for a 7.3 Million Dollar State Library Construction Grant
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to place the Seekonk Public Library on a waitlist for a Provisional Construction Grant. The grant is part of the state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP), which helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities.
Thirty-three libraries completed the grant round process. Through a rigorous review, nine libraries were identified to receive grants and 24 were placed on a waitlist. Waitlisted libraries will receive construction grants as the funding becomes available either through the existing bond bill or a future bond authorization. When funds become available to the MPLCP through the state’s capital budget, the MBLC will make a provisional grant award in the amount of $7,332,825 to the Town of Seekonk to fund the library building project.
Statistic reported annually to the MBLC, indicates that Seekonk residents support the library and are using it more than ever. “We would have preferred to be one of the nine initial recipients, but it was a highly competitive grant round,” said Library Director Peter Fuller. He continued by saying that “we greatly appreciate the efforts of the Facilities Study Committee and others that allowed us to complete the process, and we’ll be ready when the funding becomes available for our library.” The library administration anticipates that the state will approach the Town with an offer of funding in fiscal years 2020 or 2021. Once that offer is made, the Town will have six months to commit to expanding its share of the project cost, which is approximately 7.9 million dollars.
The Town of Seekonk proposes to replace the current library by constructing a new, two-story building of 24,389 gross square feet over the existing footprint. The design integrates the building into the Seekonk Meadows and provides abundant natural light and views of the natural surroundings. A main entrance facing the parking lot will greatly improve access. The design doubles the size of the children’s area, adds a dedicated young adult area, and increases space for meetings, quiet study, casual seating, and work areas.
The Seekonk Library Facilities Study Committee has been working since January 2014 on studying the community’s library services needs and developing a facility design that can meet those needs for the next twenty-five years. Mr. Fuller said that the success of the application was due to the dedicated service of the committee and input hundreds of citizens who participated in the study and design process.
Libraries in the following communities have also been placed on the waitlist (listed according to rank): Greenfield, Monterey, Hingham, Marlborough, Littleton, Sharon, Erving, East Bridgewater, Amherst, Melrose, Westborough, Deerfield, Gloucester, Seekonk, Westford, Grafton, Orange, Fitchburg, Lynnfield, Boston, Dighton, Cambridge, Brewster, and Swansea. The nine libraries that received Provisional Construction Grants are (listed alphabetically): Dartmouth, Hadley, Kingston, Medford, Norwell, Springfield, Sutton, Wayland, and Weymouth. These nine libraries have until January 12, 2018 to secure local funding.
Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. Funding for this grant round is part of the general governmental needs bond bill filed in March, 2013 which included $150 million for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. This funding was also used to award construction grants to 11 communities that had been on a waitlist for several years and will be used to support a future Planning and Design grant round.
MPLCP library building projects are currently underway in Hopkinton, Leicester, Scituate, Sherborn, Stoughton, and Woburn. Communities with recently completed projects include Eastham, Edgartown, Framingham, Reading, Shrewsbury, and West Springfield.
The MPLCP was first funded in 1987. Since then, the program has assisted hundreds of communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information about the program, please visit the MBLC’s website.
Documents Submitted as Part of the Construction Grant Request
Minutes of the Meetings in 2014 and 2015 are available at the library. Please contact Peter Fuller, Library Director or call him at (508) 336-8230, ext. 56101 to request copies of the meeting minutes. Copies will be emailed in a pdf format at no charge. There is a 5 cents per page charge for paper copies, however.
- January 14, 2016
- January 26, 2016
- February 11, 2016
- March 10, 2016
- March 24, 2016
- April 7, 2016
- April 21, 2016
- May 5, 2016
- May 23, 2016
- June 16, 2016
- June 30, 2016
- July 21, 2017
- September 22, 2016
- October 6, 2016
- October 27, 2016
- November 10, 2016
- November 16, 2016
- December 15, 2016
- January 12, 2017
- February 2, 2017
- March 2, 2017
- April 6, 2017
- May 4, 2017
- May 25, 2017
- July 6, 2017
Share Your Ideas
The Committee completed its work in July, 2016. The Committee notified the Town Moderator that it did not plan to meet again and requested that it be formally disolved.
The members of the Library Facilities Committee are Anne B. Miller (Chairperson), Alyssa Richard (Secretary), Bill Barker, Jackie Proulx, Sonig Doran Schiller, Martha Manno, and Dan Tavares
Learn More About the Future of Public Libraries Here