There has been in change in the site selection for the proposed new library. According to Permanent Building Committee (PBC) Chairman John Ferrari, work on the schematic plans for the site behind Center School has been halted, and all remaining funds will be put towards schematic plans for a new library at the current location.
In a phone call last week, Ferrari said that in order to proceed with the location behind Center School, his committee required two letters; one from the School Committee and one from the Board of Selectmen. Both letters were needed to guarantee the availability of the Center School site by a certain date in order to allow the committee to meet the grant application deadlines for the proposed new library.
“The School Committee was not comfortable providing such a letter,” said Ferrari, “before their meeting with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) in January.”
The School Committee goes before the MSBA in January 2011 for a vote on its plans for the new elementary school at Fruit Street. Once the MSBA votes its approval, the town will have 120 days to appropriate funds. This would require a Special Town Meeting sometime in March 2011.
“We have to plan on not having access to the site,” said Ferrari.
Instead, the PBC will now focus on the existing site, which, according to Ferrari, was always the back-up plan. At their meeting on November 4th, the committee voted to put all plans for the site behind Center School on hold. After confirmation that the Center School location could not be guaranteed, the architects were given the go ahead to begin schematic designs for the existing site. Ferrari explained that funds for the design were limited and the remaining funds had to be applied to the new location. As a first step, Ferrari says he has asked the architects to re-examine parking at the current location as the number of parking spaces initially available was not enough.