Library upgrade bidding due soon

LYNDEBOROUGH – Discussions about expanding the tiny, two-room J.A. Tarbell Library have been ongoing for years. Now, with all of the required permits in hand, the trustees hope to break ground in the spring.

“The plans are ready to go out to bid,” trustee Sally Curran said. “We hope the economy is on our side.”

The estimated cost is $500,000, and the building fund has grown to $435,000. “We will go forward, get as much done as possible, and do whatever else we can do,” Curran said.

She added that they are “looking for volunteers. Sweat equity is as good as money.” Volunteers would box books during the construction, work on the landscaping or whatever is needed.

The hope is to have everything completed by the library’s 100th birthday Aug. 16, 2011.

The building plan includes a two-story addition on the east side and back, almost tripling the current space. Since the library sits at the top of a slope, the interior entrance to the addition will be split level: down to the children’s area, up the community room and offices. The lower level will have ground-level access and handicapped accessible bathrooms.

The present children’s room will become the adult reading room. The fireplace will re-emerge from behind temporary shelves, which have been placed in every possible place to accommodate videos, the computer, talking books, a fax machine and all the other media that libraries now offer besides books and magazines.

“The naming rights for the new community room are up for grabs,” Curran said of the soon-to-begin expansion of the library.

The new children’s room has already been named by John H. Morison Jr. in honor of his wife, Olga, and Olive Bullard, two of the founding members of the former Dogwood Club, a longtime neighborhood club in the Perham Corner section of town that disbanded several years ago.

The building was the gift of Joseph A. Tarbell who lived in town for many years. He said he wanted to do “something of lasting benefit for the town.” The library at the time was on the second floor of Tarbell’s Store (now the Village Store).