Framingham Dedicates the Christa McAuliffe Branch


May 15, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

On May 15, Framingham residents joined local and state officials to celebrate the dedication of the new Christa McAuliffe Branch Library. Lisa Bristol, Christa McAuliffe's sister, spoke about her sister's love for learning and exploration that inspired others and led the Framingham native to be selected for NASA's first Teacher in Space project.

The new library, located in the Nobscot section of Framingham, is a contemporary building that features a soaring roof in the shape of a wing that lifts over the main reading areas for adults and children. While the floor plan is open and flexible, there is a large children's room separated from the rest of the library with glass walling. The library also features state-of-the-art technology and has a community meeting room that can be used after hours. It is designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver requirements.

"You have a library for the digital age," said Mary Ann Cluggish, Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). "Not just transactional, but transformative - it is a game-changer."

The $8.6 million project is funded in part through a $4.18 million grant from the MBLC's Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). When the project attains LEED certification, it will receive a $104,664 Green Library Incentive grant from the MBLC. Additionally, 800 citizens and businesses donated over $700,000 to help build the library.

The McAuliffe Branch project was on time and on budget. It replaces the 1963 Saxonville branch and was renamed in honor of the astronaut after she died in the 1986 Challenger disaster.

Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and state legislature. The MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then, it 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, Salisbury, and West Springfield.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( 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.