The day finally arrived for the official groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 28, marking the start of construction for the renovation and expansion of the Wolfeboro Public Library (WPL). L-R: Jane Newcomb; recently retired Town Manager Dave Owen; Children's Librarian Barbara Widmer; Library Trustee and Chairman of the Building Committee Candy Thayer, President of the Wolfeboro Public Library Foundation (WPLF) John Sandeen; Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Linda Murray, WPLF Board Vice Chairman and Secretary, Candace Thayer; Chairman of WPL Board of Trustees Linda Wilburton; WPLF Director Bob Woerheide, Selectmen's Representative to the Board of Trustees Q. David Bowers, and Library Director Cindy Scott. Front Row: Ellie and Katry Casto. (Photo by Elissa Paquette) (click for larger version)
October 03, 2018WOLFEBORO — The groundbreaking ceremony for the Wolfeboro Public Library on Friday, Sept. 28, began indoors so everyone could stay dry, and concluded outside with officials lined up in front of the library behind shovels to take the project's symbolic first digs.
Library Director Cindy Scott took to the podium set up in the children's section before rows of chairs, to welcome the close to 150 supporters who showed up to celebrate the start of the long anticipated project.
Expressions of relief, gratitude and anticipation were the order of the day, beginning with Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Linda Murray, followed by President of the Wolfeboro Public Library Foundation (WPLF) John Sandeen, WPLF Board Vice Chairman and Secretary, Candace Thayer, and Friends of the Library Chairman Nancy Ghirardini.
Murray thanked the taxpayers who voted in support of the project, which will benefit the community for years ahead. Sandeen added that the process that brought the project to this point represents 15 years of "hard work" including seven years of fundraising by Wolfeboro Public Library Foundation, which was able to raise $1.3 million in private funds to the $5 million endeavor.
Sandeen also announced that fundraising for the Energy Efficiency Fund has brought in $76,000 so far, enough to purchase the windows and insulation of interior walls necessary to support energy efficiency construction measures. The goal of $150,000 to construct a net zero building whose energy consumption can be covered by a roof top solar array appears to be within reach. The WPLF continues to accept donations and work toward that goal.
Thayer recalled the steps along the way, beginning with the first study in 2008, the purchase of the adjacent lot in 2009, the commissioning of architectural designs in 2010 and 2014, all steps paid for from library trust funds, and the guidance offered by Public Works Director David Ford and previous Town Planner Rob Houseman as the project worked its way through the Planning Board's Capital Improvements Program.
In 2016, they were advised to use a construction management structure to build the Lavallee Brensinger architectural firm design, which they have implemented with the hiring of Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc.
The project passed the first time on the ballot, with 79 percent approval, said Thayer, who offered compliments to Director Cindy Scott and her staff. The library is the "town's living room" she said, and at this point, "I think we've really nailed it!" In the next year, all the dreaming, creating and planning efforts will take material form.
The library will remain open, and in the future, said Scott, it will be able to offer services that the current space previously could not allow.