Coffee boosts Orange library renovation fundraising

  • Wheeler Memorial Library is raising money for its renovations through sales of Renovation Roast from Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co. of Orange. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange is raising money for its renovations by raffling off items like this gift basket. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Wheeler Memorial Library Director Jessica Magelaner with some of the items being raffled off as well as a donation wheelbarrow. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/26/2022 2:44:35 PM
Modified: 9/26/2022 2:43:47 PM

ORANGE — The Wheeler Memorial Library has teamed up with Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co. to sell bags of joe to help fund proposed renovations at the library.

Bags of Renovation Roast are available at the library at 49 East Main St., as well as at Trail Head Outfitters & General Store at 1 South St. Charlsie Gorski, office manager at Dean’s Beans, said the bags are filled with a smooth Mexican Chiapas coffee with notes of brown sugar and cinnamon. She said the coffee comes in medium roast and decaffeinated.

Library Director Jessica Magelaner reached out to Dean’s Beans, and Priscilla Gaignard — a member of the Friends of the Orange Public Libraries — contacted Trail Head to ask the store to put it on its shelves. Magelaner, who has been director for about 6½ years, said her library has worked with Dean’s Beans from time to time to get coffees to benefit the Friends’ programming.

“And sometimes it sells really well, and sometimes it doesn’t. It kind of depends on what people are in the mood for,” she said, adding that Renovation Roast has “been selling pretty well” since the library received it a couple of months ago.

Magelaner said she hopes to raise as much as possible for the renovation project expected to cost $15.6 million. She explained a debt exclusion vote is set for Nov. 8 and a vote to accept a roughly $5.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is scheduled for a Special Town Meeting in December. A decision must be made by a Jan. 7 deadline.

The director said key features of the renovation include making it fully accessible as well as constructing a ground-level community room that would be available after library hours, at least one additional bathroom, and a second-floor children’s room with natural light as opposed to the one in the basement. She said when the project begins will depend heavily on what the economy is like next year. Ideally, she said, work would start in the summer of 2023.

“That’s probably pretty optimistic,” Magelaner admitted.

The project would be the Wheeler Memorial Library’s first significant renovation since it opened in 1914. Magelaner said the architectural firm is Johnson Roberts Associates and the project manager is Daniel Pallotta.

Gorski, at Dean’s Beans, has sold the coffee wholesale to the library. She said the company participates in fundraisers as frequently as possible.

“We love it,” she said.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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