Partial Construction Awards for Fitchburg and Swansea


May 19, 2023
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

Fitchburg and Swansea were awarded partial Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) grants at the May 4, 2023 meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). Fitchburg was awarded $4,979,980 of its total MPLCP grant award of $12,449,949. Swansea received $818,248 of its total grant amount of $6,875,844.

Both libraries had been on MPLCP waitlist since July, 2017. Grants to libraries on the waitlist occur in rank order as funds become available. However, if a current project’s milestone is delayed, the Board may offer those funds to a project further down the waiting list if that project already has local funding in place or if that project is already under construction. Both libraries will receive the remainder of their grants as funds become available through the state’s annual capital plan.

The Fitchburg project has already received the local approval needed to accept the MPLCP grant and move ahead. The project will renovate part of the existing 1967 building and add 25,000 square feet of new construction, including a courtyard. The new addition will include a teen space, a maker space, and a computer teaching lab.

Swansea has also received local approval for its project which will renovate the existing library, built in 1900, and add a new addition with much-needed expanded space for collections and programs.

The MBLC is currently seeking a new $150 million bond authorization to fund a new MPLCP grant round, the first under new regulations. The MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then, it has helped hundreds of communities build, renovate and/or expand their public libraries. MPLCP projects are underway in the following communities:  Amherst, Deerfield, Gloucester, Marlborough, Melrose, Sharon, Shutesbury and Westford. Learn more about the program on the MBLC website and the Building Literacy podcast.

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.