FALMOUTH — The Falmouth Memorial Library has completed its multi-year quest to raise enough money to fund an 8,000-square-foot expansion.
Although the final tally hasn’t been calculated, “we are confident that we have reached (our supplemental) $500,000 goal as of the Jan. 31 deadline,” Steven Knapp, president of the library board, said.
The goal now, Knapp said, is to break ground sometime in April. The library has hired Ledgewood Construction for a construction project expected to last 10 month to a year.
Staff has already started packing up, since the library will be closed during the entire construction period. All borrowed items are due back by Feb. 22 and limited services will be offered at the Russell Room from Feb. 25-March 9.
From March 11-30, the library will be closed while the collection is moved to a temporary home at the Mason-Motz Activity Center, where it will reopen April 1.
Updating and expanding the library has a been under consideration since at least 2014, when trustees announced $5.6 million would be needed.
The Town Council agreed to put a borrowing measure on the local ballot for half that cost if the library would raise the remaining $2.8 million. It took four years to raise its share and then in July 2018 learned it wouldn’t be enough.
Last summer the library said that due to higher construction costs at least $1 million more would be needed and again proposed cost sharing with the town.
This past November residents approved a second library bond for $500,000. The town then gave the library until the end of January to raise the other $500,000. This week Knapp said an anonymous gift of $100,000 was critical to the effort.
When completed, the new library will be 18,000 square feet and include a youth services wing, community seating areas, a reading room, more access to technology and small meeting or study rooms, among other upgrades.
The Planning Board approved an amended site plan Jan. 8 that includes fewer parking spots and narrower sidewalks and walkways, and other changes that simplify the structure.
Falmouth Memorial Library staff are packing up to move to temporary quarters at the Mason-Motz Activity Center this spring.