Library Director Deborah Abraham and Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. approached a Joint Convention of the Everett City Council seeking a $4 Million dollar bond to rehabilitate the Shute Library. The second major renovation project in the Library’s 112 year history will completely upgrade and modernize the facility, which is popular among high school students and North Everett residents.
The Mayor is seeking the bond in order to take advantage of a $2.2 Million dollar General Construction Provisional Grant from the State Board of Library Commissioners last year. The grant is part of the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) which helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities. If the City cannot match the grant funding from the State, the Library could lose the opportunity to rehabilitate the facility, resulting in a potential closing of the site.
Mayor DeMaria points that private fundraising efforts, chaired by his wife Stacy DeMaria are successfully securing donations. However, with the deadline quickly approaching, the fundraising team and the Mayor decided to secure proper matching funds from the City and move forward with the rehabilitation project.
In a presentation to the City Council and Board of Aldermen, Library Director Deb Abraham pointed out the many deficiencies in the Library including outdated electrical, heating and plumbing infrastructure as well as the inability for the library to keep up with current technology standards. With design elements close to 90% complete, the city could start rehabilitation as early as next year.
The Shute Library project will renovate and slightly expand the 112 year-old building. The design, created by Johnson Roberts Associates, preserves the original architecture and provides for street level access and enhanced facilities including a meeting room, group study room, a more spacious children’s room and a new floor plan. People who grew up with the Shute will be pleased to see that the up-to-date technology will not replace the warm welcome and traditional fireplaces.
The bond was referred to special meetings of the Common Council and Board of Aldermen this Tuesday and Thursday.
The Friends of the Everett Libraries have established a building fund for this project. If you are interested in donating, contributions can be sent to the Shute Library Renovation Fund at the Everett Cooperative Bank, 419 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149. For more information, contact Deborah Abraham at 617-394-2303.