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Tuftonboro library building committee recommends architect and site for new library

THE TUFTONBORO LIBRARY BUILDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE met othis past Monday, Aug. 25, at the Central Fire Station to decide on an architect and the location of a new library building (l-r, beginning at far side of the table): Gordon Hunt, Chairman of the Tuftonboro Library Board of Trustees, Committee Chair Dave Ford, Jim Allan, John LaPolla, around the corner, Helen Hartshorn, Paula Lootens, and near side of table, right to left, Budget Committee member Steve Brinser, Selectman Chair Lloyd Wood, Library Trustee Paul Matlock, and Skip Hurt, at far end. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
August 28, 2014
The Tuftonboro Library Building Advisory Committee made two critical decisions last Monday evening, Aug. 25.

It chose SMP Architecture of Concord to design a new library and agreed unanimously that it would be designed for the site across the street from the present library, referred to as the Dearborn property.

There was a sense of jubilation at achieving unanimity after weeks of research and discussion that included presentations from seven firms. SMP has built 14 libraries and has a good record of achieving voter approval.

"At the end of the day," said committee member Jim Allan, "[the process] was very competitive." He added that he and the other members are far more educated and knowledgeable than at the start of the process. Chairman Dave Ford concurred, "Everyone did a great job."

Committee members were asked to individually score each of the seven presentations before the meeting. Ford compiled the votes for first, second and third preferences and SMP Architecture came out on top.

Gordon Hunt, chairman of the library's board of trustees, and also a member of the committee, said with certainty that the library board looked favorably on the firm. Trustee and committee member Paul Matlock concurred.

Librarian Lindalee Lambert, seated among the trustees and numerous interested members of the public, responded to Ford's inquiry as to staff opinion, by commenting that she had visited the Durham Public Library built by SMP and people there "raved" about their new library. She said also that State Librarian Michael York spoke highly of the firm's work.

The trustees will contact the firm and begin the next steps in the process. Thursday, Sept. 4 was designated for the first meeting between the trustees and the firm with LBAC members welcome.

Public input will be invited once conceptual plans are available for presentation and discussion.

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