The Bass Harbor Memorial Library. Tremont voters will decide at May town meeting whether library capital reserve funds can be used for a planned expansion. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Library expansion advances

TREMONT — Selectmen voted unanimously Monday to allow the trustees of the Bass Harbor Memorial Library to proceed with fundraising for an addition and renovations to the historic library with one caveat. Voters at the May town meeting must first approve a warrant article that would permit the use of funds from a library capital reserve account.

Selectmen approved the library’s request with no discussion. “Looks good,” was the only comment from the board after hearing from library Trustee Pete Madeira and reviewing a detailed proposal regarding the plan.

“For three years now we’ve been nibbling around the edges deciding what to do with the library,” Madeira said.

The library, in response to a 2014 survey, expanded hours of operation and added more art exhibits, movies, book discussions, children’s programming and other activities to its schedule. As a result, trustees maintain, these additional activities have “placed a strain” on the two-room, 1,400-square-foot structure.

The library, after a bid process, hired architect Jeri Spurling to develop a plan for a 760-square-foot addition. The addition and renovation is expected to cost about $301,000. About $290,000 needs to be raised. No additional tax dollars would be requested to make the plan a reality, Madeira said.

“We plan to fund this through gifts and donations from people who like libraries,” he said, adding that the library has hired Gary Friedmann and Associates of Bar Harbor to help in the fundraising effort.

The addition would include a children’s room, a meeting area and space for staff use.

The Bass Harbor Memorial Library is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Designed in the Colonial Revival style by Charles Lawson, the original brick structure was built in 1922.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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