ROCKPORT — The Rockport Select Board has selected members for its Library Ad Hoc Planning Committee and has directed them to begin gathering design information and cost estimates for a new library to be built at the combined site of Memorial Park and 1 Limerock Street. The Select Board wants to put a warrant article on the Nov. 8 warrant, asking the town to undertake the rebuild project.
The Select Board appointed the ad hoc committee members at a Dec. 9 meeting. The library planning committee includes Ann Filley, Lynn Luzzi, Heather Mackey, Jan Rosenbaum, Joe Sternowski, Eric Frederick, Eric Denny, Tracy Murphy (Select Board liaison and voting member of the committee), and one undesignated member of the existing Library Committee.
The committee’s first meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m.
The Rockport Public Library Ad Hoc Planning Committee mission statement is as follows:
“The Ad Hoc Library Planning Committee is tasked with the planning stage of building a new library for the Town of Rockport. This library is for the use and enjoyment of all the people of Rockport and shall be planned primarily by focusing on planning, cost and long-term use.
“Secondary issues of staffing, building efficiency, archives/storage space, accessibility, and site planning/site safety shall be considered as well. Using the program outline proposed by the Library Committee and approved by the Select Board on November 9, 2015, and with professional assistance, this committee shall write a recommendation to the Select Board, including a design and cost estimate, for a library to be built at the combined site of Memorial Park and 1 Limerock Street.
[See the attached PDF of the Library Committee program outline]
“The initial tasks are as follows:
“1. Develop a procedure to invite design firms to make proposals. This could include drafting an RFP, an RFQ, or devising a design competition. Architectural firms could team with library experts. Present the procedure to the Select Board for approval on or before January 25, 2016.
“2. Evaluate the proposals received from the procedure chosen in (1). Depending on the procedure chosen, this could be a multi-step process, and could include public input.
“3. Choose finalists from proposals received.
“4. Present a recommendation to the Select Board for the final choice of the design team on or before March 17, 2016.
“5. Following the approval of the design team, arrange for two public meetings to explain the direction the design team is taking and solicit public feedback.
“6. Provide the Select Board with a preliminary concept no later than July 1, 2016, as a checkpoint on the progress to date.
“7. By August 1, 2016, provide to the Select Board a firm concept plan and cost estimates.
“Overarching Goal: It is the firm goal of the Select Board to have a question on the November 8, 2016, warrant (aka ballot) asking the town to undertake the building of a new public library as shown in the firm concept plan mentioned in Task 7 above.”
Two weeks ago, the Select Board circulated an invitation to residents to serve on the ad hoc library committee, saying it was looking for “good problem-solvers who can work in a team and are dedicated to getting the job done within a very tight timeframe.”
The board also said it wanted “good critical thinkers, can work collaboratively in finding creative ideas, have good communication skills, good at planning and execution and, if possible, and have some building committee experience on a municipal construction project or other similar construction project.”
The new library is to be built on land donated by Mary Curtis Bok on the combined site of Memorial Park and the existing library site in Rockport Village. That acreage is on the corner of Union/Limerock/Russell Ave.
The formation of the committee follows several years of controversy of how and where to expand the town’s library.
Currently, the town has leased space at 485 Commercial St. (Route 1) to temporarily house the Rockport Public Library for an initial two years while the town decides how best to house its 32,000-book collection and the seven full- and part-time employees, and provide programs for the public.
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