Marlborough Public Library approved for $10 million grant


City has six months to secure matching funding in order to accept grant

Marlborough Public Library

Marlborough – A proposal to expand the Marlborough Public Library is one step closer to fruition thanks to the news that the library has been approved for a grant of just over $10 million from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).

Marlborough had been on a construction waiting list since July of 2017. The city will now have six months to secure local match funding in order to accept the grant.

The nonprofit Marlborough Public Library Foundation is currently planning a capital campaign to raise $2 million for the project to help defray some of the city’s cost.

Located at 35 West Main St., (with parking on Witherbee Street) the building dates to the early 1900s. The renovation would increase the footprint from 22,300 square feet to 28,206 square feet. Additional parking will also be a focus as there are currently only 23 parking spots.

According to the MBLC, construction grants help pay for major capital improvement projects, including constructing a new public library, expanding and renovating an existing library building, or adapting and reusing another building for use as a library.

In order to be eligible for a grant, applicant libraries must:

  • Be a free public library located in Massachusetts
  • Be certified by the MBLC as meeting the minimum state standards for public library service
  • Have a current long-range plan and annual action plan on file at the MBLC
  • Comply with all application requirements

Grants cover approximately 45 – 50 percent of construction and must receive matching funds from the municipality. Not covered are things such as furniture, computers, landscaping, paving, and other ineligible costs as defined in MBLC parameters. 6

Construction grants are offered on “an irregular basis,” according to the MBLC, based on a number of factors, including state bond authorizations and the availability of funds through the annual capital budget.

If authorized, projects that plan for and achieve LEED certification will receive an additional 2 – 3.5 percent of their grant amount, based on the level of LEED attained. The minimum Green Library Incentive is $100,000 and the maximum is $500,000.

To donate to the foundation’s efforts mail checks to Marlborough Public Library Foundation, 35 West Main St., Marlborough, MA 01752. For more information contact [email protected].