Concord Library expansion plans (November, 2017)

On November 3, the League sponsored a First Friday program at the West Concord Fowler Library, featuring Sherry Litwack (President of the Library Corporation) and Jeff Adams (Trustee of the Library Corporation). Sherry and Jeff gave us an update on the 2013 acquisition of, and plans for, 151 Main Street, which is next to the Concord Main Library and will be connected to the Library.

Sherry framed the discussion by outlining the three key components of the Town's library program + the Town and its Library Committee, the Concord Public Library Corporation, and the Friends of the Library, all of which are collaborating on the planning. She reviewed the history of the development of the Library's acquisition of 151 Main Street, which will be linked to the existing library. Sherry also gave an overview of the ongoing needs in the Library for an expanded children's section, teen zone, gathering space, special collections, historic room and storage.

Next, Jeff explained the preliminary plans for the new extension and renovation of 151 Main Street. He highlighted the expansion plans and how they will meet the Library's ongoing needs. Jeff noted that the estimated cost of the proposed building project is $8.5 million, with another $1.5 million endowment needed to address administrative and maintenance costs. Fundraising efforts towards the $10 million goal are already underway and have achieved a good beginning towards the goal. If fundraising goes well, construction will begin in 2018, with completion in 2020.

Jeff and Sherry addressed League questions about parking and coordination with the Emerson Umbrella redevelopment and the Concord Museum. They also responded to inquiries about funding sources and fundraising efforts, security for the Library treasures, handicap parking, planned outdoor space for children, room nomenclature, basement storage, maintenance schedules, and redevelopment with an eye towards sustaining the character of the Library and the Town.