Tim Eagles of edm Architects presented renovation plans for the Milne Public Library to the Selectmen on Monday.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Milne Public Library unveiled to the Board of Selectmen a $7.2 million renovation project expected to begin in Janurary 2013.
The library is hoping to add two additions equal to 3,422 square feet. The expansion would include a new front entrance on the north side and a large meeting room, small meeting room, two new bathrooms and an elevator on the south side.
"What came out of our analysis, essentially, is to add two additions to the building for the types of additional spaces we need that can not be met with the existing spaces in the building," Tim Eagles, an architect with the engineering firm edm, said. "This is very preliminary and ultimately we're going to have to vet it all out. What we did was the minimum amount of work necessary to go to the state for the grant."
The firm presented schematic drawings used to apply for a $2.88 million state grant for construction. The rest of the funding will be need a capital campaign for the remainder.
"We know July 14 if Williamstown is awarded the construction grant," Pat McLeod, library director, said.
The expansion to the front of the building will allow for a centralized circulation desk that will, in turn, create additional space in the sections by rearranging the layout, Eagles said. Staff work space and additional quiet and reading spaces will all be increased, as well as usage of the basement. The basement will become usable for the public — it currently does not comply with building codes — and the building's heating and ventilation systems would be improved. The designs are based on a 20-year forecast, Eagles said.
The parking lot would increase from 39 spaces to 66 spots. A smaller parking lot could be created linking the library to Cold Spring Road; however, that lot may not be constructed if the larger parking lot is suitable.
"The main increase in parking is for the meeting room space," Eagles said. "As long as planning and zoning is OK with the number of spots, we are very happy to not put those there."
According to McLeod, the House of Local History, which is housed on the backside of the building, is a partner and will continue to have space inside the library. The library would continue to be open during the three-phase project.
The first phase would be the basement renovations, the second the front entrance and the third phase would be the renovation and rearrangement of the current library. The new parking lot would be constructed during the second phase and may continue into the third.
"I'm really impressed with what was presented here tonight," Selectman David Rempell said.
The expansion could lower the library's operating budget, McLeod said. With a central circulation desk there can be fewer employees and the improved heating and ventilation, which includes insulation, will lower utilities bills.
The project ideas began in 2007 when the Library Board of Trustees say that they were running out of space. They went through a feasibility study to see if they could use the basement, and in 2009 were awarded a state grant to hire edm Architects. The architectural firm has further created the preliminary designs for the newest grant application.
The Selectmen also granted a new liquor license for the Country Store on Simmonds Road. Manager Antonio Cerveira, who purchased the store about four months ago, said he will now carry a limited selection of beer.
"It's not going to be our money maker there. It's more of a convenience for the customers," Cerveira said.
Ira Lapidus, acting as manager, was also granted another license for the Williamstown Theatre Foundation Inc. and the Clark Art Institute was also granted a season license via manager Steven Wilkinson.
Additionally, the Selectmen appointed Mark Windover to the Democratic seat on the Board of Registrars. The position is for three years.
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