Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Architect Chosen for New Library

I am pleased to announce that the Library Trustees have chosen Finegold Alexander Associates Inc. as the architect for the new Westwood Public Library. The Town’s Permanent Building Committee finalized a contract with the firm on June 30. Funding for the phase one work was approved at the 2009 annual Town Meeting.

The Library Building Committee received 18 proposals for the project and short-listed four firms as finalists. Committee members visited a library designed by each of the finalists. Interviews with the four firms were held on April 16.

Finegold has previous public library design experience including an addition to the Newburyport library, which is located in a historic district. The Finegold team was impressive in their knowledge of public library design and their commitment to working with community groups. Their design work reflects an understanding of a library’s role in the community. Finegold’s staff is very familiar with green architecture applications, state bid laws, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners construction program.

The Library Building Committee looked closely at Tappe Associates, J. Stewart Roberts Associates and Beacon-Smith before ranking Finegold Alexander as the top firm. A preliminary planning meeting with Finegold Alexander was held on June 22. The architect will produce a project timeline soon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program

You have read that the Westwood Public Library has received a provisional grant award from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) for approximately $4 million.  The award is contingent on local approval to build a new main library.

The total is comprised of two separate awards: $3,698,929 for the Public Library Construction Program and $184,915 for meeting green architecture standards.  More than 60% of the total grant award will be given to the Town before groundbreaking and the remainder before construction ends.

The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program for public libraries (MPLCP) was first funded in FY1990 and has awarded grants to public libraries in 226 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth for construction of new library buildings and addition/renovations.  Local area communities receiving MPLCP grant funds include: Canton, Dover, Medfield, Norfolk, Norwood, Needham, and Wellesley. The MBLC is an active participant during the planning and construction process and its building consultants work closely with the local library to insure a successful project.

To be eligible, applicant libraries must be certified by the MBLC as
meeting minimum state standards for public library service and must have a long-range plan on file. Any project funded under the program must meet the 20-year needs of the applicant's municipality. Proposals must be based upon a library building program written prior to retaining an architect and submitted to the Board.