Seekonk Public Library To Move Forward With New Building
What started as a vision over six years ago is taking a major step forward. The Seekonk Public Library’s Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday, March 24th, to place its new library proposal on the May Town Meeting agenda.
“It’s time,” said Michael Durkay, President of the Library’s Board of Trustees. “Our hard work planning for this resulted in a $7.3M capital grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The pandemic has proven how vital the library is to the community. Yet, our building does not meet the needs of our community. It’s time to move forward.”
The highlights of the new building include:
• HVAC, air filtering and handling systems that will be COVID-19 informed in order to protect the community
• An enlarged Children’s Room with actual space for Story Time and other activities
• A dedicated Young Adult Room with socialization and study spaces as well as access to the young adult collection
• Community meeting room that has accessible after-hours exiting to the main entrance while the doors to the Library proper are locked
• Small group study spaces for individual and collaborative group work
The total project cost is $19.6M. With the $7.3M grant, the town will be asked to pay for $12.3M which for the average household will amount to $1.96 a week for the average household in Seekonk. Once the project is approved, the Seekonk Library Trust will begin a capital campaign to raise $1M which will bring down the cost to the taxpayer even further.
While the Library will be engaged in public education, the Friends of the Seekonk Public Library has formed Seekonk Taxpayers for a New Library in order to bring as many people into this effort as possible. It has started a new campaign called The Initiative for the Seekonk Public Library.
“We’ll be advocating for the new library,” said Irene Frechette, President of the Friends. “Advocacy during COVID is different. We’re engaged in one-to-one outreach and getting a great response. It’s clear the community wants the new building and we’re working to make sure that happens.”
Seekonk Taxpayers has a new website, www.Seekonk.voteyesforourlibrary.org, which tells people all about the project and enables them to sign up as supporters. The campaign can also be found on social media:
• On Facebook seekonksnewlibrary
• On Instagram @seekonksnewlibrary
• On Twitter @NewSPLibrary
“It is essential for supporters to come to the May 10th Town Meeting to show how much we want a new library,” said Frechette. “Our voices need to be heard. Our hands need to be raised because $1.96 a week is less than a cup of coffee.”