Schematic designs for new library complete
By Carley Dangonacarley@thereminder.com
WEST SPRINGFIELD Caolo and Bieniek Associates Inc. (C&B) completed the schematic designs for the renovation of the West Springfield Public Library in time for the Jan. 31 deadline.
A press conference to unveil the designs is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 19 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the library, according to Matthew Blumenfeld, campaign manager for the project.
"C&B had a tight deadline but got the job done," Blumenfeld said. "The design team did a great job of addressing all the issues. We're please as punch. It's going to be a really beautiful building."
Sharon Scott, chair of the Library Board of Trustees, said, "It's been a collaborative effort among the architects, the library staff, Matt [Blumenfeld] the trustees and Mayor Gregory Neffinger. We're all very, very thankful and excited."
She noted that Westfield Savings Bank was "instrumental" in pushing the project forward because it donated a part of its abutting property to the library to create an "easement with space."
According to Blumenfeld, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), who has provided input throughout the process, will most likely approve the designs in early March.
Celeste Bruno, Communication specialist for MBLC explained the importance of keeping library facilities modern to accommodate the needs of patrons.
"Massachusetts has one of the oldest library systems in the country," Bruno said. "Many of the library buildings are more than 100 years old and were built to serve communities a fraction of the size of today's communities."
She continued, "Libraries are a center-of-learning for little ones to seniors. Library use has increased dramatically in the last decade. In 2012, libraries in the Commonwealth lent 58 million items to borrowers. On average, two million people each year attend library programs in Massachusetts."
Neffinger stated, "It's a great design. I think MBLC will be very happy with the design. I'm looking forward to the public press conference."