West Springfield Public Library receives MBLC Grant

In January 2011, LLB Architects prepared a feasibility study for the West Springfield Public Library in preparation for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners construction grant application. In July, the Board awarded eight communities with close to $27.5 million in General Construction Provisional Grants. Among them, was the West Springfield library, with the largest award sum of $6,276,143. As part of this grant round, the MBLC also wait-listed several libraries, including another one of LLB's project at Shrewsbury Public Library, making a future grants more likely. Press Release from the MBLC: At its Board Meeting at Northborough Free Library on Thursday, July 14, 2011, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to award General Construction Provisional Grants totaling $27,448,989 to eight communities. “With library use at an all-time high, these grants will help libraries meet the growing library needs of their residents,” said Katherine Dibble, MBLC Chair. Libraries in this grant round are the first to benefit from revised Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) regulations, approved by the Board in January 2010, which increase the average grant award from 35% to 50% of the eligible costs. The Green Library Incentive, approved by the Board in September 2008, was also enhanced so that libraries can plan energy efficient systems and construction at the outset of the project. All eight libraries plan to obtain the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification which will qualify them to receive additional state funding. Twenty-eight libraries completed the grant round process. Through a rigorous review process, eight were identified to receive grants and fifteen were placed on a waiting list. Other libraries were asked to revise their project plans and resubmit their applications to the MBLC by January 19, 2012. Communities that have received grants will have until January 2012 to secure local funding. Wait-listed libraries will receive their grants as funds become available through the state’s five–year capital plan. Funding for these projects and the construction grants awarded in 2008 was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill, signed by the Governor on August 11, 2008. On August 14, 2008, the Board awarded provisional grants to libraries that had been on a waiting list since 2005. Libraries in Mattapan, Buckland, Foxborough, Dudley, Holyoke, Mashpee, Walpole, Westhampton, Millis, Boxford, Falmouth and Westwood have moved forward with or completed projects. MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987.  From July 1989 through June, 2011, 204 construction grants totaling $320.3 million have been awarded to assist cities and towns in construction or renovation and expansion of their public libraries.  In addition, 91 planning and design grants totaling over $1.8 million have been awarded to support public libraries as they prepare to apply for a construction grant.  For more information about the MBLC's Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program please see the 2011 Construction Fact Sheet or click here for general information. See all of the libraries that were awarded at MBLC.