With more than $1.4 million in private support secured, new library project moves into design phase

The Newton City Commission voted yesterday to move forward with the design phase of the new library project. This is very exciting news as we work toward making the new library building a reality!

In 2020, Newton Public Library and the City of Newton developed a project agreement to work toward a new library building, with the project divided into five phases. Phase 1 and 2, which involved site selection, a feasibility review, and development of a building concept, were completed last year. The estimated costs at that point were projected to be $8.5 million, with the City of Newton planning to contribute $4.5 million, and Newton Public Library contributing $1.3 million. The remaining $2.7 million is to be raised through donations.

Phase 3, the fundraising phase, began in 2020 and has now raised more than $1.4 million in private donations. The project agreement included a timeline of having the City Commission consider moving forward with the project by December 2021, and the goal has been to be halfway to the fundraising goal at that time. The fundraising phase will now continue while the design project commences, with the goal of having the project ready to go to competitive bidding by the end of 2022, if funding is in place.

“We are incredibly grateful to the donors who have invested in this important community project during the campaign’s quiet phase,” said Cari Cusick, library director. “Without their generosity, a new library would not be possible. While we still have much to raise, we are excited that we exceeded our goal of being halfway to $2.7 million by the end of 2021.”

During the design phase, the library and city staff will work with the selected architect, HBM Architects, on schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, and construction. Moving forward allows the final building design to align with fundraising progress and current realities of the construction industry.

The new library is slated to be built next to the existing facility in Military Park. Planned amenities of the new building include a single-level facility with improved meeting and gathering spaces, an updated children’s area, a dedicated teen space, up-to-date technologies, off-street parking, and a drive-through book drop.

The fundraising efforts have been led by a Campaign Leadership Committee, comprised of community members who are volunteering their time and expertise to this project. We are incredibly grateful for their dedication to the library and the community.

Concept art shows what a new Newton Public Library building could look like. With the project now entering its design phase, dreams and ideas will be translated into concrete plans!