Library's Expansion Project Update
The Building Committee is pleased to announce the
selection of Beacon Architectural Associates in
partnership with Adams & Smith LCC for the library’s
$10.8M expansion and renovation project.
The team of Beacon Architectural Associates and
Adams & Smith LCC reunites key principals from both
firms with extensive public library experience.
Frank Adams and Richard Smith of Adams & Smith have
an on-going relationship spanning 20 years, and have
planned and designed over 20 libraries in New
England, including several in collaboration with
Peter Byerly and Patrick Hayes of Beacon.
Beacon Architectural Associates has provided
architectural services locally to institutions, the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and commercial
clients for over forty years. Peter Byerly of Beacon
has assisted the Massachusetts Board of Library
Commissioners in assessing projects for the past
three rounds of library grants.
Renovations and additions to historic libraries and
public projects that reinvigorate city centers are a
specialty of this team.
Leominster library project to start
LEOMINSTER- Ground should be broken in November on an
enlarged and renovated Leominster Public Library, and the
search has begun for a site to house the facility's
collection during 16 months of construction.
Library Director Susan T. Shelton said Beacon Architectural
Associates of Boston had been awarded the design contract
for the $10.8 million job.
The architectural firm's fee is approximately $770,000, or
9.26 percent of the construction cost, Purchasing Agent
Gregory C. Chapdelaine said in a recent interview. The
construction cost for the library is $8.3 million, with just
over $3 million from a state grant.
The remainder of the tab includes furniture, architectural
and interior design fees and a temporary library site, among
other expenses, Mr. Chapdelaine said Friday.
Ms. Shelton said Beacon Architectural Associates had more
than 40 years experience in the state, and its portfolio
includes institutions of higher learning as well as private
"Renovations and additions to historic libraries and public
projects that reinvigorate city centers are a specialty of
this team," according to a prepared statement from the firm.
Ms. Shelton said the recently appointed Library Building
Committee had just begun reviewing the 3-year-old schematic
drawings for an enlarged library facility with the
The committee includes Ms. Shelton, Jim Andrews, Mark
Bodanza, former Mayor John McLaughlin, Susan A. Chalifoux
Zephir and library trustees Carol Millette and Gil Tremblay.
Library Board of Trustees Chairman Robert D. Allen is ex
officio a member of the committee.
The membership will work with the architects through June on
final designs for the expansion and renovation. The current
20,000-square-foot library at 30 West St. will more than
double in size, to 44,513 square feet. Of that, 35,000
square feet will be new construction, and the addition built
in 1966 will be demolished.
"We hope to go out to bid in early fall, and we hope to
begin construction in November," Ms. Shelton said. If all
goes according to plan, the expanded facility will open its
doors in February 2006 in time for the library's 150th
Among the features of the new library will be a 130-seat
auditorium, a larger public meeting space and a separate
room for the audio-visual collection. The original West
Street entrance will be reopened, although most visitors
will enter from the enlarged Pearl Street parking lot.
Two nearby houses are slated for demolition to make way for
the expansion, since the city has so far found no takers
willing to move them off the site, Mr. Chapdelaine said.
Ms. Shelton said the West Street site will be vacated during
the construction work, and the search for a temporary
alternative site is now under way.
She said she is hoping to find a handicapped-accessible site
within 1˝ to 2 miles of downtown with adjacent parking. Its
floors will need to be able to hold 150 pounds per square
foot, and the facility also will need to have the wiring
capacity to handle the library computer network, she said.
How much of the library's collection will be moved to the
temporary site has not been determined, Ms. Shelton said,
though she expects new books, the audio-visual collection
and children's programs all will remain immediately
available to the public.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Leominster hoping to break ground on library expansion in
By Lisa Guerriero
Sentinel & Enterprise
LEOMINSTER-- The planned expansion of the Leominster Public
Library calls for the historical section of the building at
30 West St. to be preserved, said a member of the building
John McLaughlin, a building committee member and a former
city mayor and city councilor, said the building will double
in size, from roughly 21,000 square feet to 44,513 square
feet. "The library hasn't really changed in a lot of years,
and it's open almost seven days week with the activities,"
McLaughlin said. "They're strapped for room. They're doing
an excellent job, but it's very, very difficult because
they're restrained by square footage." An average of 3,000
patrons visit the library weekly, according to the library
The oldest section of the facility was built in 1910 and is
listed on the National Historic Register. "We would keep the
oldest part and demolish the part that was built in the
1960s," McLaughlin said, noting the younger section would be
costly to bring up to code.
City councilors voted unanimously last summer to approve the
expansion, which is projected to cost more than $11 million.
A grant from the state will provide a little more than $3
million for the project, with the rest to be generated
through fund-raising and loans.
Beacon Architectural Associates of Boston is expected to
complete the design for the expanded facility by the end of
the summer, at a cost of $770,000. McLaughlin hopes to put
plans out to bid and award a contract by the end of summer,
in time to break ground before winter. "We want to start
right now and get our footings in before the cold weather,
so they can start construction," McLaughlin said.
The new facility will include an auditorium with seating for
120 people and rooms for technology.
Construction will take about 18 months, and the finished
building will include entrances on Pearl Street and West
Street. Parking will be increased from 24 to 65 adjacent
spaces. During the 16 months of construction, the library
will have to find a temporary home. "So far, there are no
takers," McLaughlin said, noting the temporary space would
have to accommodate the weight of books and other library
collections. Meredith Foley, assistant to Library Director
Susan Shelton, is heading up the subcommittee charged with
finding the library a temporary home away from home.
McLaughlin said the project has been in the works for years.
He acquired some land for the expansion during his tenure as
mayor in the mid-1970s. "I figured some at point in time we
could utilize it -- the city was growing, and so forth," he
said. The city purchased additional properties near the
library in 2001 and 2002. Two houses on these plots will be
torn down to accommodate the library project.
McLaughlin said the library is an important component in
attracting people downtown. "I'm a great believer in things
being built downtown. Downtown is more or less for churches
and municipal services; with shopping malls and so forth,
business has moved," McLaughlin said. "Leominster downtown
has shaped up well. It's looking better all the time."
Besides McLaughlin and Shelton, the library building
committee includes Library Trustee Robert Allen, community
member Susan Chalifoux, Leominster Purchasing Agent Gregory
Chapdelaine, Attorney Mark Bodanza, FSC Engineering
Professor Jim Andrews and several members of the Library
Board of Trustees.