By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
MARLBOROUGH – City officials broke ground on renovations to the Marlborough Public Library on Sept. 21.
Marlborough Public Library Director Margaret Cardello called it a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I am thrilled that this day has finally come,” she said. “I know what it took to get here, and I know what the future holds for the expanded and renovated Marlborough Public Library.”
“It’s a long time coming, but it’s a great project,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant said. “We’re really excited about it.”
Project to preserve Carnegie facade
As part of the project, most of the existing library will be demolished and replaced with a 16,000-square-foot addition. The historic facade of the library and its front rooms, built thanks to a donation from Andrew Carnegie, will remain.
The Marlborough City Council approved a nearly $24 million bond to pay for the project. The project is further funded through a $10 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.
Cardello said the library will have space to meet residents’ needs for programs and services that bring people together. The library will also feature space for quiet study and collaboration.
“I can’t thank the City Council enough for all the work that they’ve done in getting this project moving,” Vigeant said. “It’s great when you have a day like this and we have the groundbreaking. It’s even a better day when you do a ribbon-cutting when the project is all done.”
Elected officials laud library
Vigeant was joined by members of the Marlborough City Council, Senator Jamie Eldridge, as well as State Representatives Carmine Gentile (D-Sudbury) and Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough). Members of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and Wiliam Keyles, who is President of the Marlborough Public Library Foundation, were also in attendance.
Gregoire, a lifelong Marlborough resident, said she often credits the Marlborough Public Schools for her success.
“Long before I was at the Marlborough schools, I was here at the Marlborough Public Library,” Gregoire said.
In fact, she still carries her library card, she said.
“I’m just really grateful that the future citizens of Marlborough, the small children as well as the adults, and the lifelong learners will be able to have this fantastic resource at their disposal,” Gregoire said.
City Council President Michael Ossing noted that Project Manager Tom Gatzunis brought the new Goodnow Brothers Elementary School project under budget and ahead of schedule.
“I’m expecting the same thing, Tom, no pressure, for the library addition,” Ossing said.
The library has temporarily relocated its operations to the nearby Walker Building. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Speaking with the Community Advocate back in July, Cardello noted that this renovation project was expected to take roughly 18 months once crews broke ground. On that timeline, with work now underway, this project would wrap up sometime in the spring of 2023.