Longwood Public Library one step closer to expansion

From The North Shore Sun By Samantha Brix | June 16, 2011 in News

Community members who attended a charrette at Longwood Public Library on Saturday decided the top three goals for the library’s expansion project are making sure construction costs stay within budget, building a facility that utilizes natural daylight, and making sure there is adequate space.

“They’re great goals, and I think they’re achievable too,” said library director Suzanne Johnson. “It’s exciting that so many people are thinking along the same lines.”

Library officials plan to expand the existing library using sustainable, environmentally-friendly techniques. The library also plans to utilize three acres of land that runs from the staff parking lot to the edge of Cathedral Pines County Park, a parcel they purchased last January.

About 80 residents attended the workshop, which was led by John Boecher, an architect with the Pennsylvania-based 7group architectural firm, which specializes in high-performance green buildings.

Residents who attended the five hour-long charrette outlined dozens of ideal features they’d like to see in the library expansion plan, including the use of recyclable materials during construction, building a library that maintains comfortable temperatures  and the addition of a kitchen for use during cooking classes.

“It was an extremely involved process,” said Middle Island Civic Association president Tom Talbot. “People are looking for a library that brings local pride. The library is a reflection on the community.”

The library will hold a second charrette on July 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for residents to discuss conceptual design. At that time 7group will unveil designs that include the features discussed Saturday.

After the next charrette, architects will meet every other week over the next two months to draft a schematic design and a budget.

Register for the next charrette through the library’s website or by calling 924-6400, ext. 250.

samantha@northshoresun.co