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Update on library project

The New London Public Library is in the process of preparing documents for the project to transform the former First State Bank building into a library. Contributed image

New London applies for grants

By Bert Lehman

New London Library Director Ann Hunt updated the city Finance and Personnel Committee about the project to convert the former First State Bank building into a new library.

Hunt told the committee at its May 8 meeting that the Friends of the Library has been giving tours of the new library building so people can see what the building currently looks like.

“So that people can see that it needs considerable work to become a library,” Hunt said.

The tours are also meant to inform people where different areas of the library will be located once the project is completed.

“Hopefully, people will catch the vision of what we’re going to try to do there,” Hunt said.

In addition, Hunt said there has been collaboration with Keller regarding the appearance of the inside of the building once it is remodeled.

“All this is going to lead up to the construction documents, which are going to begin in August,” Hunt said.

After the completion of the construction documents, Hunt said requests for bids will hopefully be sent out in September.

Construction may start in November

“Then in October, we’ll have the board approve the bids,” Hunt said. “And then in November, start construction.”

The supply chain, which Hunt said is “iffy” for some of the electrical items, will determine how long it will take to convert the former bank building into a library.

“In the meantime, we have been continuing to fundraise,” she said.

This has included applying for a non-state funds grant, with the help of Kathy Gwidt. Applicants who are chosen to receive the grant will be notified in late summer.

A Flexible Facilities grant will also be applied for, Hunt said.

“That one is really directed at libraries and community centers,” Hunt said.

The focus on that grant is on high-speed internet access.

“So, it’s for work, education and health care, all of that we do right now in the library,” Hunt said.
The grant application is due July 11.

“We’re really hopeful on both of those grants, but especially that second one,” Hunt said.

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