Topsham Public Library to undergo renovations

Topsham Public Library renovations to begin on November 8 Topsham Public Library.

Parts of the Topsham Public Library will soon be updated and redesigned.

The renovations are part of the library’s long-term plan to provide adequate and welcoming space for clients and staff. The 13,000 square meter library opened at its current location on Foreside Road in 2004.

“The idea was to see how we could better use our space and see what we could do to make the space more usable and more accessible, and hopefully will work well for everyone involved,” said the Library Director, Susan Preece. In addition, some staff areas were also becoming cramped, so the library board decided to use part of the library’s investment money to start the renovations.

As part of the first phase of the renovation, the conference room in front of the reception will be divided into two rooms, and a small remodel will be carried out in the rear part of the building to add cupboards.

“One of the rooms is going to be my office,” said Preece, who has used the conference room as an office since the start of the pandemic. “I shared an office with my administrative accounting assistant, but we couldn’t keep a distance of six feet, so I moved here because it was easier.”

The adult services librarian will move to the other third of that office, added Preece.

The second phase is to create more space for the staff. The circulation desk will undergo a minor renovation to add additional storage and move an additional desk into a lap desk setup.

Preece said his old office will be converted to a staff room, as there is no staff space in the library.

“Everyone has lunch at their desk. We have part-time staff who need to find a corner to work, so this office space will allow us to have additional storage space and private personal space. It will also allow us to use the space more efficiently, ”added Preece.

The cost of the renovations is approximately $ 80,000. The library received a bequest of $ 770,000 from a Topsham resident in 2018, who was with the Maine Community Foundation, and the renovation costs will be covered using these funds.

“That’s all the money in the library. There is no tax money that will be used for the renovations, ”said Preece.

The library receives 85% of its funding from the city and the remaining 15% comes from various fundraising events that take place throughout the year.

While the library will be closed to the public from November 8 to 13, Preece hopes the work will be completed quickly and smoothly so that there isn’t much disruption to the public.

“We are doing an ecological demolition. If there is anything here that we can reuse again, we pay attention to it, ”said Preece. “It takes a little longer to do something like that as opposed to outright demolition.”

The renovations are expected to be completed by the end of December.

“There is only one wall to tear down or adjust. After that, they will work around us, ”added Preece.

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