NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 30, 2013

Updated library design on display

BY ANGELJEAN CHIARAMIDA
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALISBURY — The latest update to the design of the new library replaces the former wedged-shaped concept with a rectangular, shingled version intended to resemble the graceful lines of beach cottages of years past.

Still not considered the final design, sketches of the new building can be viewed at the library. This more traditional building will again be located on Salisbury Green, offering two entrances, one facing School Street and the other onto Salisbury Square.

Some things on the exterior update could change before construction documents are prepared so the project can go out for bid, said library director Terry Kyrios. For example, the recent update shows a copper roof, but if the cost of copper is prohibitive at bid time, that could change, she said.

The cost estimate voters approved earlier this year equals about $7.5 million, with a state grant paying for $3,856,187, or 52 percent, of the total. The Library Fundraising Committee has raised more than $700,000 from contributions and grants further lower the amount the town will have to borrow to complete the project.

But the new update on the exterior doesn’t alter what will be included inside, Kyrios said.

“It’s still 17,000 square feet, still two stories, still handicapped accessible,” she said. “Everything inside remains the same.”

Once built, the new library will house rooms and services the 3,000-square-foot current library couldn’t offer.

The interior plan calls for three rooms for tutoring or study groups, a dedicated young adult section, as well as a children’s room, multiple reading areas, a meeting room for community events, a special genealogical/historical research section, increased WiFi access and handicap accessibility, including elevators, ramps and restrooms on both floors. The plans also call for doubling the amount of parking.

Designed to meet the town’s needs for at least the next 20 years, surveys completed by town residents provided insight into what is wanted and needed in Salisbury’s new library.

Still under discussion, Kyrios said, is how to incorporate the flavor of the present library into the new building and bring part of the town’s history through to the future. The Building Committee hopes to use existing lettering that reads “Salisbury Public Library” on the new building. They also plan to continue to use the distinctive window pediment that’s been on the library since 1956.

Also being considered is taking the unique wooden paneling, wall cabinets and mill work that’s in the front reading room and incorporating it into the interior somehow, Kyrios said.

Temporary library space needed

Since the current library will be razed to make way for the new one, many have worried that the library will have to close during construction. But that won’t happen, Kryios said. A temporary library will be up and running before the library closes.

Kyrios said the Relocation Committee is looking for space in Salisbury that can temporarily meet their needs. Library officials are looking for 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of relatively open space where books, phones, computers and equipment can be moved during construction.

Ideally, the space would be on one floor and be handicapped accessible, she said, with lots of open space for shelving, tables, chairs and work space.

Kyrios said anyone with available space should call town planner Lisa Pearson at 978-463-2266.