NEWS RELEASE

West Springfield Dedicates New Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 02, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us

West Springfield Dedicates New Library

On April 2, West Springfield residents celebrated the dedication of the newly renovated and expanded West Springfield Public Library.

"We're so proud of what our community was able to accomplish," said Library Director Antonia Golinski-Foisy. "Everyone who comes in is looking for something different and this library can truly meet the needs of this diverse community."

The new facility, which drew 1,000 visitors the first day it opened in January and has since been averaging 500 to 600 visits a day, was expanded from 19,300 sq. ft. to a 36,700 sq. ft. modern library. The space features a young adult room, a new children's room, a dedicated space for English classes, and a community meeting room that seats 150 people and is available after hours. It also provides increased access to technology. The library operates with energy efficient, money saving building systems, complies with health and safety codes, and meets ADA mandates.

The $16 million project was funded in part through a $6.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). When the library attains LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, it will receive a Green Library Incentive grant of $125,523 to $219,665 (depending on the LEED level) from the the MBLC.

Additionally, nearly $2 million through fundraising efforts and the Town of West Springfield bonded $7.9 million. Historic preservation funding totaling $602,000 was also used to support the project.

Prior to the project, the West Springfield Public Library facility lacked community and programming space, did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates, and had insufficient parking and security issues. Additions in 1958 and 1978 were not able to meet residents' growing need for library services. Statewide attendance at library programs across the Commonwealth has increased 42% over the past decade and library visits have increased 26%.

Funding for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program is authorized by the governor and state legislature. The MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then, the MPLCP has helped build 51 new library buildings and 126 addition, renovation, and conversion projects. The MPLCP also awards planning and design grants to support public libraries as they prepare to apply for a construction grant. MPLCP projects are currently underway in Eastham, Hopkinton, Leicester, Reading, Scituate, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Stoughton, Webster, and Woburn. Communities with projects that were recently completed include Edgartown, Framingham, and Salisbury.

About MBLC

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.