By Angeljean Chiaramida
---- — 0000LightBlueObjectStyle/$ID/[Normal Graphics Frame]0000LightBlueObjectStyle/$ID/[Normal Text Frame]0000LightBlue$ID/[None]0000LightBlue$ID/[None]0000LightBlueSALISBURY — The town is closer to seeing construction of its new library begin. Design plans are finalized and a site has been located that will serve as the temporary library while the new one is under construction, town officials said this week.
After nine years in the making, voters agreed to build a new library last May, both at the polls and at Town Meeting, by approving the issuance of bonds to pay for part of the estimated construction costs of $7.45 million for the 17,000-square-foot building, which will replace the current 3,000-square-foot library.
Grants and donations have considerably whittled the portion taxpayers will have to fund. Salisbury received a $3,856,187 state grant to pay for about 52 percent of the total, and the Library Building Committee has received another $760,000 in donations from local foundations, banks and others.
On Monday, Town Manager Neil Harrington said the project’s architect has finalized design plans and the project manager has created a more exact estimate of costs for the project.
The hope is that the project will be ready to go out for bid sometime next month, and the groundbreaking can be held sometime this spring, Harrington said.
That schedule is only possible after a suitable space has been secured to serve as the temporary library once the current building, located on historic Salisbury Green, is razed to make room for the new one.
Town officials said this week that such a space has been located after a request for proposals was initiated.
Although the lease is yet to be signed, library director Terry Kyrios said the space is on Elm Street, or Route 110, near Rangeway Golf and Simon’s Roast Beef and Pizza at 167 Elm St. The temporary library will go into the empty storefronts there, she said.
The location provides ample parking, square footage and handicap accessibility.
An exact time frame for moving has yet to be established as library officials contact potential movers, Kyrios said.
But she expects that the town will be without its own library for from six to eight weeks as the content of the current library is moved and the temporary library established.
But residents will still be able to access library services during that time, since Salisbury belongs to a library consortium.
“Aside from the inconvenience of having to drive a bit, our library cards can be used at other (public libraries), like Newburyport’s,” Selectman Fred Knowles said.
Once it’s up and running, the temporary library will be fully operational for the estimated 18 months it will be used until the new library is completed, according to Selectman Freeman Condon.
Initial plans for the town’s new library indicated an energy-efficient, two-story building, with specialized rooms for children and teenage readers, as well as computers for public use, reading rooms, more book shelves, an area for genealogical research and public meeting rooms.
The size and capabilities of the new library coincide with a 20-year projection of Salisbury’s expected growth and nationally accepted library standards, and are based on what Salisbury residents have said they would like to see in the new facility offer.