DATE: May 09, 2013
Library Anchors South Hadley's Revitalization
Residents of South Hadley recently gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new South Hadley Public Library located in the Falls area. The project creates a library facility able to meet the ongoing needs of residents, reconnects the community to the Connecticut River waterfront for all to enjoy and revitalizes this area of South Hadley. The new library will overlook the Holyoke Dam and America’s first navigable canal and is designed as a compatible addition to the adjacent historic South Hadley Canal area, a State and National Register Historic District.
The design recalls South Hadley’s heritage as a mill town, combining traditional mill architecture with modern library design. The new two-story 22,783 gross square foot building will offer access to technology throughout the building through planned network connections, wireless routers, electrical supply, and cable channeling. A “Technology Commons” area will provide adults with a flexible computer space that can accommodate desktop computers and new media. Library services that were unimaginable when the original library was built 104 years ago, or in 1974 when a 5,100 square foot addition was built bringing the total library square footage up to 8,800.
“In South Hadley, we are committed to community and this library is designed to meet the needs of all residents,” said Jan Resnick, Commissioner at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and South Hadley resident. In 2011, the MBLC awarded South Hadley a Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) grant totaling $4,841,312. The estimated total project cost is $10,145,732. State Senator Stan Rosenberg highlighted this successful partnership between state and local agencies. “Through the MPLCP, tax dollars from across the Commonwealth are brought here to South Hadley to help build a library that will not only benefit your residents; but through cooperative library services, all the Commonwealth’s people.”
The new library will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements and will qualify for additional funding from the MBLC’s Green Library Incentive, once LEED certification is attained. Features of the new library include separate areas for teens and children and a community meeting room that may be used after hours. Local historical items will be housed in a climate controlled room that meets archival standards.
Funding for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill in 2008. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was first funded in 1987. Since then the program has assisted nearly two hundred communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries.
Library construction projects are currently underway in Athol, East Boston, Edgartown, Everett, Foxborough, Granby, Holyoke, Millis, West Tisbury and Westwood. For more information please visit the MBLC’s website. For photos from the event please see the MBLC Facebook page.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.