Art Paine, a member of the Bass Harbor Memorial Library board of trustees, painted this depiction of what the library will look like with a proposed addition designed by architect Jeri Spurling. IMAGE COURTESY OF BASS HARBOR MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Library raises fundraising bar

TREMONT — After meeting its $350,000 fundraising goal last month, the Bass Harbor Memorial Library has decided to set a new goal of $450,000.

The $350,000 capital campaign, which kicked off in September, was initiated to raise money for an addition and improvements at the library, which is part of the town of Tremont. The funds are to be used for a new 770-square-foot children’s area and the remodeling of existing space.

The library has an extensive list of items the additional funds could cover, including the purchase of state-of-the-art computers and other technology and educational and interactive materials. The work could include relocating the well, and various maintenance and upgrades to the historic building.

“None of this is set in concrete at this point,” said Mike Hays, library trustee and capital campaign member.

In addition, trustees most likely will set aside some of the additional funds.

“We would like to see that the capital reserve itself is strong,” Hays said. In the future, when, say, a new roof is needed, trustees will have the money instead of going before the town to ask for the funds, he said.

The first order of business is to have architect Jeri Spurling draw up the final plan for the addition and renovation project and send that out to contractors for a bid. Once trustees have a more accurate idea of the final cost, they can then make decisions on how best to spend the additional funds, Hays said.

Hays said he expects Spurling’s work to be done by late March. Requests for bids then will be solicited. Construction would begin in mid- to late September.

“We don’t want to begin in the summertime,” he said. “That’s our busy time.”

The need for more space became apparent in responses to a survey and in comments made at a series of “community conversations” conducted in 2014. An addition was not specifically discussed, but the library’s leaders recognized that meeting the needs of the community would require more space.

Spurling was chosen to do the design work after trustees interviewed her and four other architects. Her design allows for a more flexible space for programs.

The bookshelves are to have casters, making it easy to move them around to accommodate various activities. Noise from the children’s area can be kept at a minimum by using a sliding glass partition between the remodeled area and the children’s area. The glass will allow a librarian to keep an eye on what’s going on.

The main entrance will change. Patrons now enter directly into the reading room. The new entrance will be through the addition.

The library has set a Feb. 1 date for concluding the second phase of fundraising. Donations to the campaign can be sent to the Bass Harbor Memorial Library, 89 Bernard Road, Bernard, ME 04612.

The Bass Harbor library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed in the Colonial Revival style by Charles Lawson, the original brick structure, now used as a reading room, was built in 1922.




Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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