Bass Harbor library to move during construction project

TREMONT — Bass Harbor Memorial Library will have a new home during the reconstruction and expansion of their building, pending approved use of the temporary space.

During their Nov.14 meeting, selectmen authorized Town Manager Chris Saunders to sign a lease for the use of Pacific Hall, formerly known as the Tremont Methodist Church, at 735 Tremont Road. Use of that building is contingent upon review and approval by the town’s Planning Board of the hall’s use as a library.

The lease is retroactive from Oct. 2018 until project completion or Sept. 2019, whichever comes first. Because the library is town-owned, selectmen ultimately have say in expenditures and major decisions. Selectmen are guided by the recommendations of the library’s board of trustees.

Although the lease states a $1/month rental fee, it also says the library will be responsible for paying utilities on the building during its time of use.

Library officials had expected to be started on renovations and the 700-square-foot expansion by now, but had to rework their plans to reduce costs.

When bids went out earlier this year for a general contractor for the project, only one company submitted a bid. It came in significantly higher in price than the trustees had allocated for the project.

There were several conversations with the contractor to work to reduce costs and adjust specific items within the original plan. Following those meetings, the proposal was still too expensive, so the trustees sent the plan back to architect Jeri Spurling for a rework.

When another request for bids went out in October on the revised plan, six bids were received. Spurling and Clerk of the Works Mel Atherton are in the process of reviewing the bids. A recommendation for a general contractor is expected to go before the Board of Selectmen at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Doug Gott and Sons, Inc. has agreed to do site work and lay a foundation slab as a donation to the library. That work is expected to begin next spring.

For updates on the project, visit


Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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