Future Library Project FAQs
What is the Future Library Project?
The Future Library Project is a community effort to transform a mid-20th century modern building into a state-of-the-art library facility serving a wide variety of functions in our knowledge-based society. Central to the effort will be a focus on youth in our community, energy efficient systems, quality of place, and community heritage.
Why does the building need to be renovated?
In 1963, the building at 5 Maine Ave was constructed to house the Millinocket Memorial Library. After 54 years of service, it is time to update the library to meet 21st century demands. Improvements will include energy efficient mechanical systems, enhanced electrical and plumbing infrastructure, more flexible furnishings and spaces, and dedicated areas for community programs, children’s areas, and a young adult section. While we’re at it, we also want to beautify and refresh the library for generations to come.
What are the goals of the project?
- Improved building performance to lower utility costs and minimize our environmental impact.
- More flexibility: As a dynamic community center, the building must serve different roles in a limited space.
- Better access for more people. As efficient building with self-service options serves more people more often.
- Enhanced access to state-of-the-art technology.
- Improved safety systems, including a sprinkler system, improved fire stair egress, and asbestos remediation.
Why is it called “The Future Library Project”?
Even at the earliest stages of this project, we wanted to design a future-proof library that would meet the demands and needs of a fast-changing world. As with all building projects limited by physical and budgetary constraints, our goal was to create an adaptable facility that could be reconfigured as it met new, unanticipated demands. We’ve approached the next phase of the life of the library as an open-ended project, hence the name.
When will construction begin and when will it be completed?
A construction schedule has not been finalized and we are still in the design phase, but construction is expected to begin in May 2019 and be complete by the end of 2019. Our goal is to continuously provide access to our most vital services throughout construction.
How much money will the project cost and how will you pay for it?
The total cost of the project is $1,250,000. We will raise funds using a combination of strategies, including grants, major individual donations, and local fundraisers. We have been very fortunate to be recipients of a major grant by the Next Generation Foundation, which has awarded us $500,000 to get started. Every dollar raised up to $250,000 will be matched as part of their grant award and we will continue to approach local and national philanthropic organizations to help us raise funds to complete the project.
If you’ve already received a grant for $500,000, why do you continue to fundraise locally?
Two reasons: First, total construction costs are over $1M and we must raise the remaining balance to complete the project. Second, capital improvement funds are separate from our operating budget. Every year, we must raise close to $100,000 to operate the library, and we need to continue to raise those funds each year. It is critical that we keep capital grants separate from operating grants.
What will the building look like when it is done?
The building’s design is of the modern era, of the “international style” clad only in brick. Its open floor plan, rectilinear walls, and expansive west wall of glass make it one of Millinocket’s most significant architectural buildings. Our goal is to retain the architectural integrity of the building and, in some cases, restore the building to its original design. Renovations will highlight outdoor elements (porch, gardens), open up spaces to make them more flexible, and bring more daylight into dark portions of the building.
The building has served the community for over 50 years. It’s time to rethink the library’s function and to invest in its future.