Lincolnville group makes final push to complete new library
Lincolnville — Supporters of the Lincolnville Community Library Project are making a final push to finish turning the town’s old one-room schoolhouse into a new full-service library.
According to committee member Cindy Dunham, the goal is to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the project and move into the library by the end of October.
It was in October 2012 that nearly 200 community members gathered to grab a long rope and help pull the former Lincolnville Center Schoolhouse to its new home across Main Street. Since then professional contractors and volunteers have been working together to renovate the building, owned by the Lincolnville Historical Society. A crew of women has also been building sheds to house an open-air museum for historical exhibits next to the library.
The library is currently housed in a temporary space at the corner of Main Street and Heal Road in Lincolnville Center and has a collection of about 2,000 donated and cataloged books. It also sponsors regular programs such as author talks, and plans to expand its book collection and programming at the new site.
Organizers have already raised more than three-fourths of the $208,000 needed for the library project through donations from individuals and businesses and grants from foundations. Grants from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and the Davis Family Foundation are helping to fund the renovation of the schoolhouse and building of the addition, while a Maine Community Foundation grant is supporting the building of the sheds.
Many local businesses have also donated labor and materials, Dunham said. The old schoolhouse now has a new roof thanks largely to Heartwood Carpentry and EBS; new clapboards donated by Robbins Lumber; windows at a discounted price from Mathews Brothers; painted trim done by MacDonald Painting; and interior wiring installed by Justin Electric. Young’s Construction helped with site work for the building addition. And many people have donated local logs, which Twin Brooks Stretchers and John Cookson have sawed into lumber for the museum sheds and other parts of the project.
Crews have spent many hours refurbishing the historical schoolhouse’s windows, putting up drywall and preparing the building for insulation. Their next project will be the walls and roof for the building addition.
Meanwhile, the women’s crew, led by Sandy Shute, has finished building one of the museum sheds and started on the second. According to Dunham, the museum project has proven to be a valuable educational opportunity for the women who are now using their new skills to build the second shed even faster than the first.
Altogether, more than 75 individuals have volunteered their time, labor, services and expertise on the project for a total of 2,500 hours, according to Dunham. And more than 180 individuals and 45 businesses have donated cash and materials. These donations, combined with the grants from foundations, have brought the total money raised to $153,000. No local tax dollars have been requested or needed, Dunham said.
Now, she said, the group is working to raise the final funds to pay for lighting, plumbing, computers, phone and Internet service, cataloging software, tables and chairs, bookshelves, and everything else needed to finish turning the old schoolhouse into the new library. There is also a plan to landscape the gravel lot with native and historic plants, shrubs and trees.
“While we are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community support, we need another $50,000 from contributions of cash and in-kind labor and materials to complete the project,” Dunham said in a news release. This will enable the group to achieve their goal of opening the new library and open-air museum by late October.
Donations may be made to the Lincolnville Historical Society/Library Project, P.O. Box 204, Lincolnville, ME 04849. For more information, contact Cindy Dunham at 789-5233.