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THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2018                          ESTABLISHED 1859                WOLFEBORO, N.H. GRANITESTATENEWS.COM

 Library Addition frontage








Thomas Beeler

The red stakes mark how close the new Wolfeboro Public Library expansion will come to South Main Street. Library Director Cindy Scott (standing next to sign) points out that the library will now align with other buildings on the street, while providing much-needed addi­tional space to the library itself.

NewLibrary Exterior







The conceptual design for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Completion of the approved expansion and renovation is expected by spring 2020.

Wolfeboro library outlines plan for renovation

Goal is to minimize disruption over next two years


Contributing Writer

WOLFEBORO — On March 13, Wolfeboro voters approved the $5 million renovation of its public library by an overwhelming 78.7 per­cent margin. The proj­ect, which involves both expanding the library building and renovating the existing space, is ex­pected to be completed in 2020.

Now comes the hard part: working out the de­tails, selecting contrac­tors and making sure that the library will be able to continue to serve residents throughout the construction process.

Library Director Cin­dy Scott has already begun working with the architectural firm to translate the concep­tual plan into detailed construction plans. This will involve contract ne­gotiations and finalizing many details. Construc­tion drawings should be completed by the end of the summer.

Scott emphasized that there are many decisions to be made, such as what heating and air condi­tioning system would be best for Wolfeboro’s library. The system in­stalled when the library was first built includes obsolete components that have failed many times in recent years, so choosing an efficient, ef­fective and reliable sys­tem is high on the list of priorities. Keeping the library available to patrons throughout the project is the major goal, accord­ing to Scott. To achieve that goal, the project will be phased. The first phase of con­struction will focus on site issues and landscap­ing. There are drainage issues on site and park­ing areas need to be pre­pared.

The next stage will be constructing the addi­tion, which will extend from the existing build­ing toward South Main Street as should take a year. Because the ex­panded space will incor­porate the new pitched roof, constructing a new roof for the whole struc­ture will be part of the first phase. That will in­volve installing support­ing girders at the other end of the building and, as a result, loosing ac­cess to the meeting room for one to two weeks. The main area of the library will be unaffect­ed, Scott noted. Incon­venience to patrons will be minimal.

The third phase will require moving the li­brary into the new addi­tion – a smaller space – in order to renovate the existing building. Since not everything will fit into the reduced space, hard choices will have to be made. Scott said the library is already moving its data server online – in “the cloud” – to minimize logisti­cal issues with moving computers and mak­ing it possible to keep checking materials in and out. There will also have to be a moratorium on accepting new material donations. There will not be enough space to sort and evaluate and then store for the annu­al library book sale. Once the renovation phase is completed in early 2020, the whole expanded space will be available. Scott said the voters’ approval of the expan­sion and renovation has not come too soon. In the last two years the number of library cards issued, the foot traffic into the library and phone calls received are up and usage is still in­creasing.

Interested residents and patrons can keep track of progress by at­tending regular meet­ings on the construc­tion. Agendas for all meetings will be posted in advance. Scott said she and li­brary staff were excited by the vote and the mar­gin of approval. Clearly the library is seen as a vital resource for Wolfe­boro and that literal vote of approval is very much appreciated.