Falmouth library plans evolve, campaign adds Snowe, McKernan

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FALMOUTH — The design for expansion of Falmouth Memorial Library has changed slightly, but the function remains the same.

A pair of well-known Falmouth residents – former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and her husband, former Gov. John McKernan Jr. – have also agreed to lend their names to the project’s fundraising campaign.

Amy Kuhn, president of the library board of trustees, said Scott Simons Architects presented revised drawings in early June.

“The design has evolved,” Kuhn said. “It’s important for people to understand the central concept is the same, it will be a place for people to gather.”

Kuhn said the floor plan is different, and includes space for an increased collection size, more dedicated space for children, “a quiet, sun-drenched reading room,” and greater capacity for energy efficiency.

“We’re really working to promote connectivity with the new Route 1 work,” Kuhn said. “Now there will be an entrance on Lunt Road to encourage that connectivity.”

In addition to Simons, Ledgewood Construction has been hired as construction manager.

“We want to make sure the architects and construction manager work together to develop a building that fits in our budget, being mindful to keep these activities on a parallel track,” Kuhn said.

Renovating and expanding the library will cost approximately $5.6 million, with up to $2.8 million financed by a town-issued bond that voters overwhelmingly approved last November. The rest will be funded by a capital campaign organized by the library and trustees.

Kuhn said the campaign is the second track of the project, along with the design.

She said a 26-member capital campaign committee has been formed, led by a steering committee of five board members. Snowe and McKernan will be honorary co-chairs of the campaign, she said.

“They have expressed willingness to lend names to campaign, which is typical in a honorary chair role,” Kuhn said. “The steering committee will be orchestrating a lot of day-to-day work.”

Kuhn said Snowe and McKernan adding their names to the campaign will “help encourage others in the community to feel really confident.”

The campaign committee has been meeting on a regular basis since February, Kuhn said, and has entered “the quiet phase of the campaign,” which involves “face-to-face meetings” with community members.

“There will come a time in the future when everyone will have the opportunity to become involved,” Kuhn said. “We plan to reach out to the community in early 2016. Until then we’re in this quiet phase.”

Kuhn said before going public the campaign must have secured pledges for a “substantial amount of the goal.” Fundraising must be completed by December 2016.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.