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Rockport voters approve new library ballot items, construction set for spring

By Staff | Nov 09, 2018
Courtesy of: Town of Rockport This is a rendering of the Russell Avenue side of the new Rockport library done by Stephen G. Smith architects.

Rockport — After five years of debate and extensive effort on the part of volunteers, the new town library gained the community's approval in the Nov. 6 election.

Voters approved a $1.5 million bond for the new library project by a vote of 1,067 to 922.

They also approved $300,000 for design, construction and equipping of the new library by a vote of 1,025 to 891.

"I am extremely pleased," said Town Manager Richard Bates. "It has been number one on my goals for my whole tenure here. It is time to get it built and start to bring this great community back together again."

Select Board Chairman Douglas Cole said, "I think the reason for our success is that we had a very strong design team and a strong fundraising foundation. These groups listened to the people and were then able to develop a plan incorporating the necessary compromises, which a majority of people were able to accept as reasonable."

The new $3.5 million library will be located at Russell Avenue and Limerock Street overlooking the harbor. The new two-story building will include a 7,000-square-foot modern library with an additional 3,000 square feet for future expansion. It will have flexible space to accommodate future technology and dedicated spaces for teens and children.

Construction of the new library is expected to start in late April, according to Bates. He added that the plan is to have the building closed in and heated before winter.

He said the target for opening the new library is June 2020, though that is just an estimate at this point.

It was announced at the end of September that the library's capital campaign was halfway to its $2 million fundraising goal. The total project is budgeted at $3.5 million, with $1.5 million approved as a bond by the voters. The remaining $2 million is being funded through private donations, with fundraising being spearheaded by the Rockport Library Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to fund the project.

This is a rendering of the Limerock Street side of the new Rockport library done by Stephen G. Smith architects. (Courtesy of: Town of Rockport)
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