NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Historical Society and trustees of the North Adam Public Library have allocated funds to renovate some unfinished rooms in the library to store archival material.
The trustees motioned Wednesday to spend up to $5,000 from the trustees fund to match funds from the Historical Society needed to prepare two rooms on the third floor for archival storage.
"Because of the move, there is no space for a lot of the paper and boxes of files at the Holiday Inn," Trustee Robin Martin said. "So the two rooms that are here that we have been storing some historical stuff in anyways have to be cleaned up."
The Historical Society had to leave its museum location at Western Gateway Heritage State Park after the city began discussion to sell the park. The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum has an option on the property. Currently the society is in the process of moving its Museum of History and Science to a spaces on the first floor of the Holiday Inn.
Martin said the two rooms used to be part of the apartment within the library and the walls are in bad condition and covered in lead paint. She said the walls would likely have to be replaced.
She also referred to the two rooms as the "haunted rooms."
Martin said the documents that will be stored in the library were not on display at the museum but were in storage.
Trustee Ely Janis said everything is cataloged so much of the material will be able to be accessed.
He did add that there are plans to digitize much of this material in the future with the help of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Martin said the Historical Society had offered to donate $5,000 to the cause but that the entire cost was estimated to be $8,000.
Because there was some uncertainty in the actual cost the trustees approved up to $5,000.
There are also plans to make some improvements to the parlor in the library and the Friends of the Library sought trustee approval to tear off the old wallpaper and make other improvements.
"We have a preliminary plans from an interior decorator," Friend Bonnie Rennell said. "We want to remove the wallpaper ... which is 40 years old and go with a solid color so it looks less busy ... it will make the woodwork and mirror really pop out."
The trustees liked the idea and unanimously approved the project.
Library Director Sarah Sanfilippo said Guardian Energy Management Solutions recently visited the library to insulate a portion of the belvedere on the first floor where the tower met the building.
The trustees were glad that some work was done on the belvedere but were curious if anything else was addressed in the tower structure that has broken windows, structural issues, and is not weather tight.
Sanfilippo said they only addressed the job they were hired to do and new Trustee Tara Jacobs asked for some sort of update from the city on where they stand with possibly addressing the belvedere.
"I just want to know where we are at and what is going to happen with some of those bigger needs," she said.
In other business, the trustees welcomed Jacobs who was recently appointed to the trustees to replace Nicole Gordon, who resigned a few months ago. Jacobs is also a member of the School Committee.
Former Chairman Rich Remsberg attended the meeting briefly to bid the trustees farewell but his term expired June 1. Remsberg announced his plan to resign some months ago but agreed to stay on until the new director was hired.
This means the board is in need of one more trustee and Sanfilippo affirmed that the mayor already has a few names to consider.
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The national political picture in these challenging times are characterized by embattled partisans filled with vitriol and empty rhetoric losing their voices in the echo chamber of social media and 24-hour news cycles. It is in this climate that gives me pause to reflect on the notion that late speaker of the House, Massachusetts' own Tip O'Neil, stated: "all politics is local." I appreciate the fact that North Adams has a mayor who epitomizes civility, level-headedness, and competency.
Mayor Tom Bernard is a leader who demonstrates his competencies through hard work, intelligence, open-mindedness and commitment to guiding our city through this period of growth and investment.
Mayor Bernard has built a strong foundation during his first term in which to navigate the course that North Adams is taking toward a more inclusive and prosperous future.
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