New Vineyard Library expansion moving forward

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Go and Do:

What: Cabin Fever Supper

When: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.

Music provided by local talent from 6-8 p.m.

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Where: Smith Hall on Route 27, New Vineyard

Why: Raise money for the New Vineyard Public Library expansion

Special activities: Raffle for custom log cabin dollhouse; Spin to Win

NEW VINEYARD — New Vineyard Public Library trustees plan to raise $225,000 for an expansion.

“We’re going to do all that we can to get the necessary funds that will give the town patrons what they are looking for,” Trustee Bruce Turcotte said Thursday. He is chairman of the Library Expansion Committee formed in October 2010.

The goal is to increase the size of the library, from 580 square feet to 1,800 square feet, Trustee Richard Hargreaves said. The space would include a community room that could be used by local organizations. A new drilled well and septic system would be installed.

Trustees plan to build an addition on the far end of the building where the New Vineyard Historical Society is located. The end wall would be removed from the society’s space and a 44- by 36-square-foot addition would be built.

The library would move into the new structure and also use the space currently occupied by the society. The library’s current space would be available for the Town Office and Historical Society. The library association owns the building.

A survey done in 2008 indicated that the library was a very important service to townspeople, trustees said.

“We have a very active library here, but the needs are not being met,” Turcotte said, because of space constraints.

“We’re kind of looking at this project as turning a new page to a new chapter,” Trustee Glenda Hargreaves said.

“We really have a history of volunteers and people donate time, talent and money” to keep it successful, she said.

Ten regular volunteers help Librarian Sandy Bestwick run the library. Services include more than 4,000 books, up-to-date technology, audio books and movies.

Jerry Nash of Strong volunteered his time to do a schematic drawing of the proposed addition, Turcotte said.

Trustees will hold fundraisers, apply for grants and seek donations to help fund the project, Richard Hargreaves said.

Twenty-six grant applications have been submitted so far, and more will be forthcoming, trustees said.

They are working on Community Development Block Grant and USDA Rural Development Grant applications. A public hearing on the CDBG application will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at Smith Hall.

Letters were sent out late last year to residents about the proposed expansion.

“We feel it is a community enhancement,” Turcotte said.

The first fundraiser will be the sixth annual Cabin Fever Supper from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Smith Hall, followed by music provided by local talent from 6 to 8 p.m.

A raffle featuring one of resident Lenny Ellis’ handmade log cabin dollhouses and his custom furniture will begin the evening. Ellis, who donated the house, also built one several years ago and sent it to President Barack Obama’s daughters as a gift. Raffle tickets will be $1 for one and $5 for six. The dollhouse will be displayed around Franklin County until October, when a winner will be drawn during the library’s Fall Festival event.

The group hopes to begin building the addition in July and would like to have it done by December, Turcotte said.

The library began as a small lending library at a school, moved to the back of a church, then to the basement of Smith Hall, and then upstairs above the former My Wife’s Place, which is currently Our Village Market.

Judith Johnson donated land in 1988 so the current library could be built on Route 234, also known as Main Street, Glenda Hargreaves said. It opened in 1991.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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