The Library is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $145,000 grant by the Connecticut State Library Board. The Library will use the grant to help fund Phase 2 of its planned Renovation and ADA Accessibility Building Project. This second phase of the project addresses the existing spaces of the Library and focuses on creating more flexible, functional, user-friendly spaces throughout the Library, including movable furniture, mobile shelving, new carpeting and paint, improved electrical infrastructure and critically needed work space for the public. The State Library grant will cover half of the estimated $290,000 cost of Phase 2 of the project; the Library is required to raise matching funds within one year to receive the grant amount.
The first phase of the project expands the Library’s reach to all patrons, addressing ADA compliance and accessibility improvements with a modest addition on the eastern side of the building. Phase 1 will create a new fully compliant ramp and side entry with an elevator and handicap bathroom on each level of the Library. The completion of this first phase, while directly adding only 700 square feet to the Library’s existing footprint, will also create an additional 575 square feet of new, usable space within the existing building. The Library is seeking an estimated $420,000 in private and public funds to complete Phase 1; $210,000 has already been pledged to date.
Each phase of this project is a direct result of the strategic plan and self-assessment initiative which consisted of a community wide survey and focus groups, technology review, space review, financial analysis, and review of the Library’s compliance with ADA standards. Over 600 community members, Library Trustees, Library staff and Town leaders were engaged throughout this process. The receipt of this grant is a significant step toward achieving the Library’s strategic goal to Restore, Renew and Reimagine the spaces of our Library for all residents of the Town of Stonington.