Concord Free Public Library Approved For Renovation

Concord Free Public Library Approved For Renovation

The Historic Districts Commission, The Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals have approved an upcoming library renovation and expansion project for the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main St.

Detailed construction plans will be finalized over the next few months.

“I am thrilled with our progress,” said Sherry Litwick, president of the Library Corporation. “Accessibility, sustainability and flexibility are design priorities for the project. The renovations will make the library completely accessible for patrons with physical, hearing and vision challenges. The building and its infrastructure will feature best practices, as our community works to reduce our carbon footprint and GHG emissions. Retractable walls and portable furniture will allow us to create flexible, interactive spaces for a wide range of activities and programming.”

The $10 million plan began to take shape six years ago with several visioning and planning sessions. After the Library Corporation purchased the Heywood-Benjamin House, 151 Main St., Concord, with support from town officials and managers, a task force developed a plan to fulfill the vision.

With recommendations from community members, town officials, library staff, library committee, friends of the library, patrons and scholars, the Library Corporation commissioned Johnson Roberts Associates Inc. to draw plans for the project.

“Libraries are striving to be dynamic gathering places for interactive learning and engagement,”

said library Director Kerry Cronin.

“This project will transform patron experiences, enabling us to redesign services in response to user preferences, position CFPL to introduce innovative programs on an ongoing basis, and fulfill our mission to inspire lifelong learning and to promote personal enrichment by connecting community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources and each other in a tradition of innovation and excellence.”

The Library Corporation will launch the community phase of the fundraising campaign, reaching out to Concord residents through the mail, social media and appearances at various community events. The campaign, which has already raised over $8 million from the town and leadership donors, aims to raise another $1 million over the next two months to make it possible to break ground later this year.

The community will be able to track progress with a “bookometer” fundraising thermometer that was designed by Billy Crosby. Children will be able to contribute their spare change in the children’s rooms at both branches using innovative “coinectors” that were designed and built by younger patrons over the summer.

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