WEBSTER – With the Chester C. Corbin Public Library at 2 Lake St. to be torn down in late spring-early summer, a building committee is looking at options for a temporary location for library services.
Rena Klebart, chairwoman of the library building committee, said Wednesday her committee is working with a project manager to investigate a possible site for a temporary library.
A new library is to be built at the same Lake Street location. Tearing down the deteriorating 95-year-old downtown structure and building anew is expected to cost up to $12 million. The design work by Oudens Ello Architecture of Boston was set at $720,000, and there’s a $349,338 contract with project manager Daedalus Projects Inc. of Boston.
Daedalus has targeted completion of the library for November 2017.
Asked about options for temporary space, Mrs. Klebart said, “A group of us really spent some time looking at the retail space and some of the property the town owns to see if any of those would be feasible.”
Because the committee is in negotiations, Mrs. Klebart said, she was uncomfortable revealing specific information about the potential sites. A decision should come by month’s end, she said.
Mrs. Klebart said the project remains on pace for completion next year, but a lot will depend on the demolition.
“We’ll have a better sense of the site,” she said, “but we’re encouraged by the work that’s been done in the timeline that’s been established.”
The building committee will next meet Tuesday, mostly in executive session to talk about options for the temporary space and to finalize schematics by Oudens Ello, which will be revealed to the public during the Board of Selectmen's meeting March 21.
In 2009, a town vote passed to apply for and accept federal and state money for a library construction project. A planning and design grant was completed in 2011 with design support from DRA Architects in Waltham.
In August 2014, a construction grant of $5.36 million was awarded from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. An additional 25 percent, through a capital bond bill supported by then state Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, was added to the grant from MBLC, making the state's share of the project about $9 million and the town's responsibility about $3 million.
A special town meeting in December 2014 approved a $12 million appropriation for all phases of the work.
The present building opened in 1921 and has not had any significant alterations, officials said. The Massachusetts Historical Commission deemed the building too structurally damaged to be salvaged. Its litany of deficiencies include an outdated electrical system, severe physical deterioration, plumbing problems, insufficient lighting, lack of accessibility, an unsafe front entrance and lack of adequate space.