The Weymouth Town Council has unanimously approved spending just over $33 million to build a new and bigger Tufts Library that could open as early as the spring of 2020, according to library director Rob MacLean.
“I’m still on cloud nine,” MacLean said after the Oct. 16 vote. “It feels real now.”
Weymouth received a $12.1 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in July toward construction of the new library, on the condition that the town agree to cover the rest of the cost within six months.
MacLean said plans call for razing the current 33,000-square-foot Tufts Library and building a new 50,296-square-foot one in approximately the same spot.
The new library will have much more space dedicated to children and young adults, 10 study rooms, and five meeting rooms of varying sizes, including one that will hold nearly 200 people, he said.
The design also calls for a local history center with materials available for genealogists and local historians, and display space for the library’s historic material -- including Abigail Adams’s letters, the town’s Colonial-era copy of the Declaration of Independence, and the 500-year-old dugout canoe found in Great Pond in the 1960s.
MacLean said his next step is finding a temporary library location while construction is underway.
“And now we can start cleaning up 52 years of things, and planning for the future,” he said.Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.