By Carley Dangona
WEST SPRINGIELD – A donation of land and an easement from Westfield Bank will make the new design of the West Springfield Public Library (WSPL) feasible.
On Feb. 11, Westfield Bank, 206 Park St., donated $50,000 to the West Side Story Campaign for the WSPL along with the use of its driveway and land adjacent to the property line of the library. Without the easement, the main entry of the library would not be possible as it is planned for the renovated WSPL building.
“Westfield Bank has been extremely generous in this gift to us and to its commitment to the community,” Antonia Golinski-Foisy, WSPL director, said.
She explained that the easement and land donation was “absolutely critical” to the entranceway and traffic flow of the library. “It would’ve been near impossible [without the bank’s generosity],” Golinski-Foisy added.
Mayor Edward Sullivan called the bank’s gift “magnanimous” and expressed his gratitude for the donation at a press conference later that day.
The $16 million renovation of the WSPL is still in the fundraising process. In December 2013, the Town Council approved a $2.6 million reimbursable bond for the library. The West Side Story Campaign for the WSPL has raised $850,000 of its $2 million goal. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners will provide $6.2 million in funding for the project. The town will fund the remaining $5.2 million.
The groundbreaking for the project is anticipated to take place in the spring. The library will remain at 200 Park St., but will be expanded approximately 15,000 square feet.
The library will be moving to its temporary location, 511 Main St. (the former Immaculate Conception School at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini), beginning next week and will be closed from Feb. 17 to March 8 to accommodate the moving schedule. All services and collections will be unavailable during this closed period, though items may be returned to other local libraries.
The library will re-open on March 10. Its new hours will be Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.