The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) has awarded the Medford Public Library a Provisional Construction Grant for $12,290,917. The grant is part of the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) to assist libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities.
“The Commonwealth’s local public libraries provide individuals of all ages with invaluable resources that they otherwise might not be able to access,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is pleased to once again support this important grant program that invests in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
“The Library staff and Trustees are delighted with this news. Many people within the City have worked very hard within the last year to put the grant application together. In seven months, the Building Committee, the Trustees, Architect Angela Hyatt, Project Manager Jon Lemieux, and the Library staff powered through a process that usually takes two or more years,” said Barbara Kerr, Director of the Medford Public Library. “Thank you to Mayor Burke for her encouragement and thank you to the City Council for their support. A special thank you to Council President Rick Caraviello for getting the process going early in 2016. We are truly looking forward to the future Medford Public Library!”
The average grant award is 45-50% of the eligible costs with the remaining cost incurred by the municipality. Because the library plans to attain the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, it is also eligible for additional state funding through the Green Library Incentive, created by the MBLC in 2008 to encourage sustainable energy-efficient public library construction.
“The City is thrilled to receive a substantial grant award that will assist in building a new library for the community to explore, learn and grow,’ said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. “The collaborative efforts from Library Director, Barbara Kerr along with the City Council, the Library Board of Trustees and the City contributed to the grant process that has brought this to fruition. This is a very exciting time for the City and I couldn’t be happier to share this news with you.”
Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. Funding for this grant round is part of the general governmental needs bond bill filed in March, 2013 which included $150 million for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. This funding was also used to award construction grants to eleven communities that had been on a waitlist for several years and will be used to support a future Planning and Design grant round.