Foundation presents $500K to Greenfield for new library

  • A mockup of the new Greenfield Public Library that will be constructed in the location of the fire station on Main Street. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/23/2021 4:56:01 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Public Library Foundation presented a $500,000 check to the city Wednesday toward the construction of the new library.

“The board of directors asks this money be used by the city to lessen the tax burden for citizens of Greenfield who voted overwhelmingly to build a new library,” said Jeanne Canteen, foundation president, reading a letter on its behalf during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

In 2019 — seven years after the vision for a new library was first discussed — Greenfield voters approved building a new Greenfield Public Library with a 61% positive vote. The $19.5 appropriation accounts for construction costs as well the cost of the architect, project manager, furniture and fixtures, Ed Berlin, co-chair of the Library Building Committee, previously explained.

In addition to a $9.4 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Greenfield Public Library Foundation has said it will contribute about $2 million, reducing the city’s cost to about $8.1 million.

“We have not yet achieved the full $2 million goal, but we currently have pledges of $1,875,000 as we enter the final phase of our fundraising efforts,” Canteen said.

The new library, which will be built in the location of the fire station on Main Street, had its groundbreaking on Aug. 19. With the temporary fire station on Hope Street now fully operational, the 85-year-old station on Main Street was to be sealed for abatement this week.

The Greenfield Public Library Foundation’s letter acknowledged and thanked city employees, members of City Council and volunteers who “worked together to bring this project to the point of groundbreaking and starting to build.”

The $500,000 check represented donations from 400 residents of Greenfield, Franklin County and beyond, according to Canteen.

“We sincerely hope the presentation of this check will spur others to join the ranks of those who have pledged money toward this project and help us complete this extraordinary project for Greenfield and its citizens,” she said.

Mayor Roxann Wedegartner thanked Canteen and the foundation for the check, which Canteen said would be delivered to her in person Thursday morning.

“That is a really great thing to hear, and I am sure that it will actually significantly benefit the people and the taxpayers of Greenfield,” Wedegartner said. “It’s greatly appreciated.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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