Library Expansion Plan
The Meredith Public Library was cited for life/safety code violations in 2011 which instigated several years of research by the Board of Library Trustees including: surveys of the community, a dozen public outreach meetings, a historic building assessment, space planning study, institutional advancement and master plans, and the creation of a building program. Key problems identified include: a non-code compliant second egress from the top two levels, non-ADA compliant access within the building, lack of parking, lack of space for collections, meetings and staff functions. The Trustees unanimously voted in 2017 to renovate and expand at the current location contingent on a warrant article passing to purchase the adjacent property for municipal parking. This article passed in 2018.
The Trustees presented a conceptual design to the Select Board and public in March of 2018. Subsequently, the trustees and select board worked together to move the project forward and all members of the Select Board agreed that the library building needed to be expanded and renovated, and supported the library’s proposed plan for a Capital Campaign. The Meredith Library Fund began operations in Feb. 2019 with the goal of raising $1,125,000 to reduce the taxpayer's cost for the project in a unique public/private partnership. A $400,000 warrant article for the design phase was resoundingly passed at the March 2019 Town Meeting. The trustees issued an RFQ, interviewed qualified architects, and selected Lavalle Brensinger as the project architect for their experience with libraries, sustainability, and historic preservation. The trustees also issued an RFQ for an owner's project manager who would represent the Library during the project. They selected Michael Bruss, who has decades of experience in construction and project management, along with experience and leadership in sustainability and historic preservation as our owners project manager.
Experience a digital walk-through of the proposed new expansion and renovation of the Meredith Public Library. Designed by Lavallee Brensinger
Numerous public meetings were held in 2019 to solicit the public's input on the final design as it was developed, and community suggestions resulted in a new drop off spot located close to the High St. library entrance. The trustees issued an RFP in July, 2019 and Milestone Engineering and Construction was hired for their construction management expertise. Additional meetings were held with the Select Board, CIP, Planning Board, Energy Committee, and other affected parties in addition to a Bond Hearing prior to 2020 Town Meeting, The warrant article to issue the bond and fund the library renovation and expansion project passed by 92.2% at Town Meeting. The Meredith Library Fund has raised over $900,000, substantially reducing the taxpayer's cost! These funds will be used to begin the project in June of 2020. The balance will be raised by the bond sale in July of 2020. The project was paused during the Covid 19 stay at home order but planning continued by all parties via Zoom meetings. The Select Board had no objection to supporting the building committee and library trustee's decision to begin preliminary work in June. Milestone and all the subcontractors have allocated this time for our project and the pricing is favorable because some other projects have been slowed down. If we delay, those workers may no longer be available and we will incur additional costs because of winter conditions. The library is currently closed so patrons will be less affected by the mobilization work since they are operating in a curbside pickup/dropoff mode only. Preliminary work will include installing a ramp for front access once the back entrance is closed off, tree removal, and foundation work including ledge removal, elevator pit, and the new back foundations. The project is still on target for opening in summer of 2021!
Meredith Public Library Front Façade
Historic building and 1988 addition renovated and fully accessible, reducing seven levels to two. New lecture hall to the left of the historic building will be available beyond public library hours.
Meredith Public Library Back Façade
On the right is the rear view of the lecture hall. On the left is the new children’s room and teen room on the first floor with adult services on the second floor accessible via stairs or elevator. A large foyer, patio, and outdoor deck will connect the additions.
Click floor layouts image to enlarge
RED LINE INDICATES EXISTING BUILDING