The Belmont Library Foundation and the Belmont Board of Library Trustees were awarded a $7.5 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners today, Oct. 4, to construct a new $18 million library proposed to be built across Concord Avenue from the current library location.
Eight projects around the Bay State were awarded for general construction grants by the Board of Library Commissioners at its Oct. 4 Board Meeting. Belmont was the second ranked project in the 2010-11 grant round.
The $7.5 million grant was nearly the entire $8 million the trustees requested two years ago in July 2011 when they applied for the grant.
The 45,000 square foot, two-story building – compared to the 29,000 square feet in the present library – will consist of two sections; a front facing Concord Avenue and a narrower back section extending into what is now Belmont High School softball field.
The read more about the design of the new library, go to Belmont Patch's article "New Library's Grant Application Off To The State."
The trustees and the foundation have just begun efforts to raise private funds to offset the nearly $10 million it would take to build the new structure to replace the nearly 45-year-old structure adjacent to the Underwood Pool.
Libraries in this grant round are the first to benefit from revised Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program regulations, approved by the Board in January 2010, which increase the average grant award from 35 percent to half of the eligible costs.
The Green Library Incentive, approved by the Board in September 2008, was also enhanced so that libraries can plan energy efficient systems and construction at the outset of the project and be eligible for additional state funding.
The trustees are celebrating the news by inviting all those who helped in the process of planning the grant application and Belmont residents who supported the project to attend a small "thank you" celebration at the library on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon, which happens to be on the first day of the library's annual book sale. The celebration will be outside in front of the library, weather permitting. Otherwise it will be held upstairs in the main lobby.
Those interested in helping with the new library, or if you’re willing to volunteer to help with a campaign or maybe make a donation should contact the Belmont Library Foundation. You may visit their website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.