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Building and Grant Information

 

The Medford Library is applying for a state construction grant.  This grant is offered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners at irregular intervals.  The last grant round was 2004-05.  The grant funding covers about half the cost of construction.  There are currently 34 libraries applying for grants in this round.  

Building Plan Current Floor Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Building Plan

The first step in the grant process was the creation of the Building Program.  Included in the Program are discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of the current building, library history, community profiles, and discussion of community needs in terms of library service.  The document also includes descriptions of the areas that are needed in the new library,  Each area is described and broken down into square footage based on shelving, furniture, aisle widths and other measures. The size of the new library and the spaces within it are based on the Program.

To view the program click here.


 

Current Floor Plan

Level 1

Level 2

 

Click to view full version.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the construction grant all about?

The Medford Library is applying for a state construction grant.  This grant is offered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners at irregular intervals.  The last grant round was 2004-05.  The grant funding covers about half the cost of construction.  There are currently 34 libraries applying for grants in this round.  

 

What is the timeline for the project?

The grant application is due at the end of January 2017.  At the end of July, we will find out if we received a grant.  At that time we will also find out where we are on the waiting list.  If we are in the first group, we could start construction in late 2018.  However, we do not expect to be in the first group, so our project will start in a few years.

 

Do you think the MPL will qualify for a grant?

We are very optimistic about getting a grant.  The MPL is one of only two communities with populations over 50,000 that are applying in this grant round.  The MPL is an older building that has not had any previous renovations.  Our grant application makes a strong case for our need for expanded space and improved services.  We do not expect to be in the first group that receives a grant, as that group are usually libraries facing serious building issues.  The MPL definitely needs improvement but we are not in crisis, so we expect to be further down on the waiting list.

 

Are we renovating this building or building a totally new one?

The plan we are submitting with the grant is for a totally new building on the same site as the current building.

 

How was the new building vs. renovation decision made?

As part of the grant process, our architect created two plans and estimates - one for a renovation and one for a new building.  The Building Committee was tasked with selecting one plan to submit with the grant.  The Committee met a number of times and discussed the pros and cons of each plan.  In the end, the Committee selected the new building plan.  A new building will maximize the use of space on the site, and will solve the current building's problems with accessibility, noise, space, and design.  A renovation of the current building would have limited expansion on the site, and there might be unexpected structural issues due to the age of the building.

  

What will the outside of the new building look like?

At this time, we don’t have a design for the outside of the building - the grant application only requires a floor plan.  However, the new building will be in the same general area on the site, and it will consist of two full floors. The new building will not look like the old building!

 
 
 What will the inside of the new building look like?

The first floor will house the adult collections and seating and staff areas.  The second floor will house expanded children’s and teen spaces as well as public spaces, including a new Magoun Room, a makerspace, a digital media lab, a cafe/lounge space and a gallery. The building will also include ten study and meeting rooms.  We do not have an interior design scheme yet, but there will be lots of light and windows and comfortable seating everywhere.  We projected our shelving needs based on a twenty year projection so there will be plenty of space for books and media.

 

How much will the project cost and how will the project be funded?

The new building will cost between 25-30 million dollars.  About half of that cost will be covered by the state grant.  The remaining funding will come from a city bond issue, a capital campaign, and donations.  

 

Why is this project happening now when there are other city buildings that need improvement?

The state library construction grants are only made available once a decade or so.  The grant will cover half of the cost of a new building, and we feel that it would be a disservice to the city if we did not take advantage of the program.  The current building is old and worn and no longer meets community needs. If we did not apply in this round, it might be 10-12 years before the next opportunity.

 

Are we changing locations?

The new building will be on the same site as the current building.  However, the library will have to move into temporary quarters during the construction project.  At this time, we do not know where we will move to.  We expect to be in the temporary quarters for 12-18 months.  As a rule, a portion of a library’s collection is put into storage during a temporary relocation but we will keep providing many services as we possibly can.   A great deal will depend on the size of the space that we move into.

 

How can I keep updated on the project?

We will update this web page as new information becomes available.  If we do receive a grant, we will hold regular community meetings throughout the design and construction process.  

If you have questions please contact the Library Director, Barbara Kerr at bkerr@minlib.net.