In January 2014, we began a new modernization plan for the New Milford Public Library, when the Town Council approved spending $20,000 from the Waste Management Fund for a feasibility study. A planning committee of 9 community volunteers was appointed in August 2015, and began twice monthly meetings to discuss ideas and suggestions. Here we will chronicle our progress as we continue this exciting project!
- August-November 2015 – architectural firms were researched.
- November 2015 – we conducted a survey to collect information from the public as to what was important and necessary for the library services and facility.
- November 2015-April 2016 – 4 architectural firms presented their ideas.
- May 2016 – we hired Lothrop Associates to devise a proposal for the feasibility study.
- November 2016 – the architect presented his proposal before Town Council.
- November 2016 – the Town Council unanimously approved the appropriation of $162,700 for the next design phase which will be schematic design plans from the architect that will be specific to our community needs
- February 2017 – Focus Groups will meet to discuss community wants and needs
- February 2017 – results of our community survey, staff input, discussions with the Modernization Committee and four focus groups have been submitted to the architect for them to produce schematic designs
- June 12, 2017 – architects will present to the Town Council at 7:00 PM the revised plans to increase Children’s and Teen space as well as create more study rooms and make the front entrance ADA compliant, among other improvements – WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AT THIS MEETING!
- June 12, 2017 – thanks to the hard work of the Modernization Committee, Lothrop Associates, the Library Board of Trustees, NMPL staff, Mayor Gronbach, the Town Council and YOU, the next phase of architectural plans for the improved library was approved on June 12th!! This next phase is called design development and specifies exactly where the plumbing, electric, etc. goes. Please come in and take a look at the story boards (located along the ramp way leading to the lower level of the Main library) which show the actual layout of the new library. More and better room for children and teens, more study areas, and a lovely reading room for adults!
- Plans continue to develop for a modern library, with small changes to the interior design and initial possibilities for flooring and wall coverings. We are in the process of completing the design development phase of planning, with the final architectural phase of creating construction documents up next. We will be presenting the design development plans to the Town Council on Monday, October 23rd, and then asking for the funding for the construction documents. We need you to be there to show your support, but we also want your input. This modernization benefits everyone, so everyone should have a say!
- October 23, 2017 – The Town Council voted unanimously to move forward with our plans for Modernization. Construction documents, here we come!!!” The next phase is the creation of the ‘Construction Documents’ which are the actual blueprints. This is the last step of planning needed before actually beginning. The architects and the Modernization Committee have worked so hard to produce a plan that retains the original footprint and is thus a very financially conservative plan, but still manages to provide the desperately needed room for children, young adults, and more study space. If you haven’t taken a look at the story boards of the proposed plans in the library, please come in and take a look! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them – just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wow, so much has happened in the past few months! In August after much discussion with the architects, and the Town, about the design plans that provide for a modernized building that stays on our footprint, provides what the town needs in terms of meeting space, study rooms, children’s and teen space, we reached a consensus on a final design. A proposal before the Town Council was scheduled (at their August meeting) to request a vote that the project be moved forward.
- August 13, 2018 – Many of our supporters from the town attended this Town Council meeting. Due to the overwhelming presence, the Library project was unanimously voted to move forward. So, we are now a step closer to fulfillment of our goal and that is a step further than any of the previous proposals have gone. One of the Town Council members who has served for many years, told us that there has NEVER been such a turnout for a project. Thank you all so very much for braving the crowd, the heat, and the inability to hear or sit – it proved without a shadow of doubt how important the Library is to our community.
- September 12, 2018 – We are not there yet, though. As is protocol, the Town Council has sent the project to the Finance Board, who must approve it, as well. They will meet on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM in the E. Paul Martin Room in Town Hall (same place as the Town Council) and we could use some support at that meeting, too. If the Finance Board approves it, they will send it back to the Town Council to set a date for either a Town Meeting or a referendum. Thanks to you, we are getting there!!!