Demolition, drainage work sets stage for Jesup addition



BAR HARBOR — Work is set to begin next week on drainage repairs to the Jesup Memorial Library and preparations for the library’s planned expansion into the lot next door, 28 Mount Desert St.

A contract for the drainage work has been awarded to Building Envelope Specialists Inc. of Portland. BES will also oversee exterior restoration work and site preparation for the expansion.

Work will begin in late June with demolition of the building at 28 Mount Desert St. currently used as a used book store, a statement from the library said. Performing the demolition and exterior restoration together with the drainage repairs will prevent the need to spread the necessary ground work over a longer period of time.

“The library is focused on addressing the big maintenance projects with our existing building first before starting into the planned expansion,” said Spenser Simis, who heads the Jesup’s building committee.

The timeline for the demolition and repair work was accelerated following the flooding of the library’s basement in January, the most recent of several water infiltration incidents that the library has seen in recent winters. Library staff and volunteers responded quickly to the incident, using equipment loaned from the Jackson Laboratory to pump out water, while wet materials were laid out to dry at the neighboring Abbe Museum.

“We must tackle this work in the next few months to ensure our historic building is sound,” Library Director Ruth Eveland said. “No more floods!”

The library’s hours and services will remain unaffected throughout the maintenance work this summer.

The Jesup 2020 campaign has raised $2.8 million to preserve, restore and expand the library, and aims to raise a total of $7.3 million by 2020. Portland-based architect Scott Simon is designing the new wing and will manage restoration of the original building’s interior.

A scale model of the expansion can be viewed at the library by appointment. Visit jesuplibrary.org.

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