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Cape Elizabeth library panel seeks public input

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Cape Elizabeth library panel seeks public input

CAPE ELIZABETH — The Library Planning Committee will host a public meeting next week to solicit ideas for library facilities and services.

The meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Cape Elizabeth High School cafeteria, is intended to hear voters' reasons for opposing a $6 million bond proposal that would have funded a new Thomas Memorial Library.

The referendum was defeated, 3,566 to 2,696, last November.

The five-member committee is also planning to mail surveys to residents and hire an architect to review the town's library needs by mid-September.

The aging library at 6 Scott Dyer Road is comprised of five separate buildings that have been cobbled together. The oldest wing dates to 1849.

A 2009 study identified more than 100 deficiencies, including water damage, structural inadequacy and antiquated electrical wiring. The committee is eyeing a range of options, including renovations to the existing space.

The committee was formed earlier this year by the Town Council and given the task of developing a plan that will serve the town for the next 25 years. The committee's objective includes gathering public opinion.

By mid-September, the committee will hire an architect to determine how much square footage is appropriate to serve the town's library needs. The architect won't be drawing plans. Rather, it's a broad look at the size and makeup of the community and what type of facility would meet standards set by the American Library Association and other criteria.

The committee's recommendations are due back to the Town Council by the end of October.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.