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Arms Library repair fundraising tops $191,000

Recorder file photo
The first phase of the Arms LIbrary in Shelburne Falls will be to fix the 100-year-roof, which has a dome, peaks and a flat section.

Recorder file photo The first phase of the Arms LIbrary in Shelburne Falls will be to fix the 100-year-roof, which has a dome, peaks and a flat section.

SHELBURNE FALLS — With at least $191,151 raised for the Arms Library/Pratt Memorial Library building, work is beginning to take shape on the $400,000 to $600,000 restoration project.

Margo Jones Architects, the firm selected to design and oversee the restoration of the historic building, has divided the project into two phases: The first phase is to fix the elaborate 100-year-old roof — which has a dome, peaks and a flat section. Phase one also includes fixing the foundation drainage system.

The second phase will include repointing the masonry, updating the library’s electrical system, insulating and repairing windows, installing an air-conditioning system and painting the interior. It also includes protecting the library’s murals.

By the end of this month, the Pratt Memorial Library Committee hopes to have schematic designs for both phases, along with preliminary cost estimates. The plan is to award construction for the roof and foundation drainage system in April, with that phase one work to be completed by January 2015.

The restoration of the rest of the building is to take place in 2015, depending on how much money can be raised.

In the last 18 months, the fundraising committee has received donations from area banks, businesses, library patrons and through town meeting appropriations. Also, the committee obtained grants from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“The committee has a long way to go, but is heartened by the response of over 250 contributors who enthusiastically support the effort for the building, which is a unique architectural gem and cornerstone of Shelburne Falls,” said Whit Sandford, who heads the fundraising effort.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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