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Hamlin’s new library becoming reality
Construction work on the new Hamlin Public Library is progressing rapidly as the weather begins to improve.
Library Board of Trustees President Sue Evans said the severe winter weather and frozen ground during the months following the December 2013 ground breaking did slow down the start of the project.
“We had them keep the ready-to-deliver materials in storage until the weather broke. Once the actual construction began, it progressed really quickly. The shell went up in just a couple of weeks,” she says.
At this point, Evans says the projected finish date for the library is mid-August. “The exterior is pretty much complete and the electrical and plumbing are being installed right now,” Evans says. “The feel of the space inside is huge. The potential for multiple uses by this community are amazing, but will basically guarantee that Hamlin will have a library for many years to come.”
Evans notes there were those in the planning stages who questioned the “Morton” concept, worried that the library would be the same as the shed next to it. She reassures skeptics that the library building is an “unbelievably strong wood frame building with a steel shell.”
Evans says that in addition to the exterior wood frame, the interior is sheathed with thick plastic for moisture and wind protection.
“That sheath is held in place by interior 2x4s – not furring strips – for further strength and durability,” Evans says. “Both the roof and the ceilings will be insulated to maximize the energy conserving factor.”
Those energy conservation measures qualify the library to take advantage of New York State incentives and grants for energy factors installation, Evans says.
“I spoke with a librarian at the Scio, NY, library in the southern tier, and she said that their 3,800 square feet library, also built by Morton, is cheaper to heat than her house.”
The library is being constructed on land directly south of the Hamlin Town Hall on Route 19. The town received a state grant of $466,000 as well as a $600,000 donation from the estate of Margaret McGrath to help cover the cost of constructing the new library.
“The most amazing part of this project and building is that it is a gift to the community,” says Evans. “In my opinion, the most valuable property that Hamlin owns, by far, and has multiple uses.”
Currently the Hamlin Public Library is housed in the old Bauch’s IGA plaza and has expanded over the years to include several former storefronts.
Increasing participation in programs at the present location emphasizes the need for more space, Evans says.
“Kay, (Kay Hughes-Dennett) our library director, says it’s like someone’s closet which can hold only so much ‘stuff,’ but if you doubled or tripled the size of your closet, you’d quickly fill that up, too. We will see amazing growth in the use of our library mostly because we can,” Evans says. “Hamlin will grow into – and I am hoping not too soon out of – this library with the interest and potential it holds for larger programs.
“If I sound more excited than the average resident, it’s probably because I have had the benefit of also seeing the interior materials and colors,” Evans continues. “We trustees have had the opportunity to invest in its outcome.”
Trustees also hope that when needs which cannot yet be afforded are determined at the time of the new library opening, “… that individuals who also believe in their library and its potential, will be willing and wanting to ask how they can help and what we need that they can provide,” she says.
The library recently was awarded a grant from State Senator Joe Robach for $100,000, Evans adds.
“That gives us a little breathing room and can provide for things like furnishing the new conference room,” she says.
If construction is completed as expected in mid-August, Evans says the library should be open in its new location by mid-September.