City should capitalize on $9M-plus from statefor new library

Published: 1/9/2019 10:39:42 AM
City should capitalize on $9M-plus from state for new library

After listening to many speak at Greenfield High School on Dec. 13 and 19, and talking to folks thereafter, there still seems to be misunderstanding between the pros and cons of building anew or refurbishing Greenfield Public Library.

Building anew, the state has offered to pay approximately half the cost, this one time, with a tag of about $9 million landing in the laps of Greenfield taxpayers, whereas, refurbishing the library where it’s currently located would cost approximately $7 million, with no state help, and no guarantee that this amount would actually be enough to update it to ADA standards.

GPL would lose 30 percent of its stacks, limiting space that is already limited. As knowledgeable people have pointed out, the present library already suffers from failing infrastructures, including heating, cooling, and elevator, as well as the building structure itself: walls, ceilings, floors, stairs and more. Building a new library would alleviate the need to constantly update and fix these things, plus it would be energy efficient. Back in 1797 when GPL was built, our forefathers thought energy efficiency was to use newspaper or horsehair as insulation.

Did Greenfield residents balk at raising taxes for the new high school, middle school, community center, or parking garage? If you won a chance on Dream House and lived in a house that was built 221 years ago and couldn’t be updated without ending up with at least 30 percent less space, and cost $7 million out-of-pocket, wouldn’t you jump at a chance to build something new? Contact your precinct city councilor and encourage them to recognize the need for a new library and vote “yes.” If you don’t have a computer at home, you can use one at GPL to access their information, or visit towncouncil@greenfield-ma.gov.

Diana Roberts

Greenfield


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