An excavator at work on School Street in Bar Harbor, part of a project to protect the Jesup Memorial Library from flooding. The work will include installation of catch basins around the 1911-built library, connecting them to the town’s stormwater system. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JESUP

Work to improve drainage underway at the Jesup

BAR HARBOR — Drainage repair work on the Jesup Memorial Library began Dec. 5, with excavation of the storm drainage route underneath School Street adjacent to the library. The work will include installation of catch basins around the 1911-built library, connecting them to the town’s stormwater system, and will prevent further instances of winter flooding that the library has faced in recent years.

The work begins as Phase Two of the library’s Jesup 2020 capital campaign draws to a close.

“With recent gifts totaling close to $150,000, we are confident we will reach our Phase Two goal of $1 million by the end of the year,” said Jesup board chair Ron Beard.

The day after Thanksgiving, Rena and Spencer Fulweiler walked into the library to hand-deliver a check for Phase Two restoration work to Library Director Ruth Eveland. “The Jesup helps make Bar Harbor a wonderful place to live, and we are happy to do our part to help to preserve and protect this beautiful library,” Spencer Fulweiler said. He indicated that he and his wife hope to make an additional gift in the future toward Phase Three expansion.

The library is almost ready to begin Phase Three, raising $4.3 million to build an addition on the property next door. The planned expansion will house a children’s library, gathering and reading space for teens, an archive, a community room for programs, accessible restrooms and more. Expansion plans and a 3D model are currently on display at the Jesup.

“We’ve worked hard these past few years with our architect, Scott Simons, to thoughtfully plan the library that will best serve this and future generations, and complement the stunning building that George Dorr and Maria Jesup left us,” said Eveland. “In Phase Two, we’ve made sure to protect their legacy, and can now move forward with this 2020 vision for the Jesup.”

The Jesup does not expect the upcoming weeks of drainage work to impact normal service aside from possible construction noises during library hours. The back door of the library will be inaccessible while work is underway, and there will be no parking behind the library. Jesup staff asks that any book donations be brought to the front desk.


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