Friday, August 18, 2000
New Gleason Public Library Opens its Doors
"The library will open tomorrow." This was the call that we'd all been waiting for and it came on Tuesday afternoon from Gleason Library Trustee Mary Cheever. After almost eight years of planning and work, the 1895 Gleason Building has been renovated, the 1973 addition razed and a new two-story addition constructed, providing more than two and a half times the library space formerly available and handicapped access. The town gave its final approval of the $2.7 million project in spring, 1999; a $919,388 state grant and $360,000 in contributions offset the town expense.
Construction began last summer and athough the library trustees had hoped to be operating in the new facility this summer, they encountered a number of delays. The last one was caused by a state inspection of the elevator. Scheduled for August 17, Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Carol Cleven were instrumental in getting that date moved up to August 9. However, as is frequently the case, the elevator failed the inspection. Then, after the fire alarm, determined to be three feet too far from the elevator, was moved and one other minor modification was completed, the elevator passed inspection on Tuesday, August 15. Building inspector Bob Koning promptly gave his stamp of approval and Cheever announced that the library would open at 1 p.m. on August 16.
Cheever wanted residents to understand that "things aren't totally finished yet." For example, the heating and air conditioning systems still need some adjustment and some furnishings have not yet arrived. Nonetheless, all of the books are on the shelves.
The formal dedication and celebration of the town's new library will take place on September 17.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito