SOUTHINGTON -- This year, Town Manager Mark Sciota hopes to revisit the issue of constructing a new library building.
Last year, the discussion was tabled due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. If the council decides to move forward on the project, Sciota said, it would then go to voters at a November referendum.
“It usually takes 6 to 9 months to design a project and then it goes to bid,” said Sciota. “Construction doesn’t usually begin until 12 months after the referendum, so library construction may begin by late 2022 or early 2023 if approved.”
Sciota said that the town council is still in the process of reviewing the issue, so a final look for the library has not been decided. However, last year, the Town Council was presented with a proposal by Library Director Kristi Sadowski.
According to this proposal, the building would be constructed on the south end of their property, more near Main Street than where it is currently located. The library has agreed to a plan that would cost $13.9 million.
The new library proposal would see acoustic separation between quiet reading areas and areas with programs, a silent reading room, a senior spot, an expanded collection, a large meeting room for 150 people, a conference room, an internet café area, eight group study and tutoring spaces, an enhanced local history room and a more prominent Friends Bookstore.
The new building would also be compliant with building codes and access regulations and have a higher efficiency heating and cooling system as well as larger windows surrounding the structure to let in more light.
The square footage of the current library is 25,000. The new library building plan, if finalized, would see a 36,800-square-foot building constructed with 114 parking spaces. 100 spaces are required for a building of this size.