Out with the old, in with the new

Rockport library demolished
By Daniel Dunkle | Dec 06, 2018
Photo by: Susan Mustapich A no trespassing sign marks the spot where the former library has been demolished to make room for construction of a new library in the spring in Rockport.

Rockport — The old Rockport library has been demolished in preparation for the construction of the new library, set to start in the spring.

The Town Office put out an announcement Nov. 26, stating demolition would begin the week of Dec. 3, at 1 Limerock St.

Residents are urged to stay off the property for safety reasons.

Central Street and the end of Limerock Street were closed during the project. The Select Board discussed the demolition project at its Nov. 13 meeting,

The town has hired Phi Builders and Architects of Rockport, with Charlie Frattini to serve as the owner's representative for the project.

The new $3.5 million library will be 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, and the plan is to have the building closed in and heated before winter 2019. The target for opening the new library is June 2020, though that is just an estimate.

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 Nov  6. The remainder is being funded through private donations, with fundraising being spearheaded by the Rockport Library Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to fund the project.

The funding approved so far for the library project does not include parking, sidewalks and intersection improvements, Town Manager Rick Bates said at the meeting, but the town is likely to receive a grant covering 50 percent of that work from the Maine Department of Transportation. Improvements to parking on Limerock Street are 100 percent the town's responsibility.

(Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
(Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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