By Carley Dangona|
WEST SPRINGFIELD – The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) has agreed to provide $500,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to the makeover of the historic Carnegie Wing of the West Springfield Public Library.
On June 10, the CPC voted unanimously to approve the library’s application request for $500,000. The committee also determined a three-installment payment schedule for the project.
Upon initiation of the agreement, $100,000 will be awarded; once the external renovations of the wing are complete, $200,000 will be awarded; and when the internal renovations of the wing are finalized, the remaining $200,000 will be awarded.
Library representatives are actively leading a fundraising campaign for the overall cost of project. According to Eric Fiedler, assistant campaign director for the library’s West Side Story Campaign, just under $1 million dollars has been raised. The goal is to raise $2 million.
The total cost of the project is $16 million. In December 2013, the Town Council approved a $2.6 reimbursable bond for the library. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners will provide $6.2 million in funding for the project. The remaining cost will be funded by the town.
“I have no concerns about the application at this point,” Gregory Farmer, historical preservation consultant for the CPC, said. “It’s a legitimate request [to fund 50 percent of the wing’s renovation].”
CPC Chairman Paul Boudo stated that the alternative sources of funding are always researched before Community Preservation Act funds are distributed. “It’s the people’s money that we have custodial duty of and [we need to ensure] it’s spent frugally,” he said.
Library Director Antonia Golinski-Foisy provided an update about the current construction to the CPC. She said, “Much of the library’s missing, but the Carnegie Wing is still intact. [We anticipate crews] will start digging the foundation next week.”
Prior to the vote, CPC member Melissa Hensen said, “It’s a wise use of taxpayers money because we all benefit from it.”
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