Monday, November 23, 2009

Status of New Library November 2009

Voters at Town Meeting on November 17th, 2009 defeated a motion to appropriate $20,000 to fund a feasibility and design study for a new library to be built on property leased from the Maplewood Cemetery on Maple Ave, Upton.

This vote effectively means that the Library Trustees can go no further in the process of planning a new library on the Cemetery site.

The Trustees will continue investigating other options, such as including library space in the renovation of Town Hall, or collaborating with the Selectmen as they consider the idea of purchasing and renovating the Holy Angels church building.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Q & A in regard to Special Town Meeting Article #11

Here are some Questions you may have about Article #11 on the Special Town Meeting warrant, scheduled for Nov 17th:

Q. What are the Library Trustees asking for today?

Q. Why do we need a new library facility?

Q. How was the current building site selected?

Q. Why not renovate a town-owned or low-cost building instead of new construction?

Q. What new services would an adequate facility allow?

Q. Why move forward with this proposal in the current turbulent economic climate?

Q. The School budget is very tight. Why should town resources go towards the public library instead of to educational resources?

Q. What might the library of 5 or 10 years in the future look like?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here's the latest ...

Members of the Library Building Design Selection Committee, a sub-group of the Library Building Feasibility Committee, are meeting with Architects right now to narrow the choices, and will know by the end of this week the details to be presented at a Special Town Meeting to be held next week, Tuesday, Nov. 17th at Nipmuc HS. beginning at 7:30pm

PLEASE plan to attend that meeting to learn more!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update on our two top priorities

Library facilities on Maplewood Cemetery land:

Both the Trustees of the Library and of Maplewood Cemetery are preparing to sign the letter of intent to lease the property. Once that document is signed, the feasiblity committee will have permission to do surveying work on the property to site a library building.
The committee is gathering information to make some preliminary cost estimates. Our rough estimates at this point indicate that a 10,000 square foot building should be possible for $2-3 million. We are working on making sure that number is closer to 2 million than 3 million. If we decide to commit to this option, the next significant step will be to hire an architect to bring all our ideas and work together into a site plan that would be suitable for presentation to the town.

Renovation of existing Town Hall

It is my understanding that the Selectmen are bringing a proposal to the Community Preservation Committee to fund a study and architectural plan to renovate the existing Town Hall building. If this funding is approved, the Selectmen will appoint a Town Hall feasiblity committee, which would be responsible for deciding exactly how the space in Town Hall is allocated. We hope the Selectmen will appoint one or more library representatives to this committee.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why Not Combine Resources and Think Green??

Since the purpose of this blog is to share information and possibilities, and also to keep interested community members updated on what's happening at Feasibility Committee Meetings, I have been hoping for more input on this blog from members of the Committee. I want the facts and options to be shared so that we can all have a chance to comment about them and join together in sharing ideas, thus having a better chance of reaching a viable solution.

I am going out on a limb here by stating an "I heard ...." but my hope in doing this is to encourage the parties involved to come forward and join this discussion, and set the details straight. So, here goes:

I heard.... that at the last Feasibility Committee meeting an idea was proposed, one that I have been talking about from day one, and was instantly shot down with the comment that 'the people of Upton would never go for that' and also that the person making the suggestion 'should maybe not even be on the committee if that is how that person really feels!'

Here's the suggestion, which personally I think makes all the sense in the world, but would LOVE to hear what the voting members of our community have to say:

"Why are we not considering having ALL Town Departments join together in creating one new, efficient GREEN building that would solve so many issues in town, including space and costs?"

My 'dream building' would encompass a new library, a new senior center and include office space for all of the departments currently housed in the Town Hall and Knowlton Risteen Building, two old, inefficient buildings that would cost ridiculous amounts of money to update. When I've spoken of this idea before I actually had someone say to me "What do you think this is, Arizona?" I don't even know what that MEANS?! Was this person implying that people in Upton aren't forward-thinking enough to even consider such a brilliant idea?? I think it's a no-brainer, but I want to know what YOU think!

Just last week, the library hosted a program called Our Renewable Nation which included viewing an interview with the head of a private school in Worcester which has recently built a wind turbine on its campus to become totally self-sufficient energy-wise. Why can't the Town of Upton do something similar? Save money and create the much-needed improvements for our community. To view this video, click here: Wind Over Worcester.

I am just posting this video as ONE of many possibilities .... but I think that in order to bring about the changes we need, all of us need to be thinking beyond individual department needs and looking at the bigger picture of the future of Upton.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why consider a new library now?

Several people over the last week have asked me essentially the same question:
"Why are the trustees even considering a new library building in the current economic recession and strained municipal budget?"

The answer to this concern is that the trustees have no intention of asking the Town of Upton for significant capital funding in the next six months, the next year, or likely in the next several years.

What we want is to have a plan in place, a project that is "shovel ready" that could be started when funding does become a possibility.

The process to go from "we need a new library" to "here is a description of the project that could be presented to a Town Meeting" takes several years. Our previous grant application was started in 2004, and submitted in 2006.

Securing a building site and having a detailed floorplan with cost estimates are requirements for any grant applications, and for the Friends of the Library to start fundraising.

For a successful building project, we need to develop our plan now, and then be ready to take advantage of funding sources in the future. If we wait until funding is available before starting the plan, the opportunity will be lost.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Donations can now be made online!

Starting in February 2009 you can now make donations online!

Go to the Library's catalog and look for the "Donate (NEW!)" link way up in the right-hand corner of the screen. Click, then choose UPTON TOWN LIBRARY from the drop-down menu. Enter any amount, along w/your credit card info, and the donation will be processed through C/WMARS. They will send a check to The Friends of the Upton Town Library!