The $12 million newly renovated and expanded Scituate Public Library has opened to rave reviews, including from its director.
“We had a fantastic first day, with hundreds of visitors,” said Jessi Finnie. “One of the most exciting parts for me was I got to see all the spaces we had envisioned being used. We had people strolling all day in our new art gallery. The quiet study rooms, which we never had before, were used all day long, and the teen room, which we never had before, was bustling after school.”
Finnie said the outdoor reading porch’s swing and rocking chairs were equally busy, as was the new children’s room.
The project was 10 years in the making and required a property tax override, Finnie said. The town received a $5 million state grant for the work, and a private fund drive brought in close to $1.4 million so far and is continuing, she said.
For the past two years, the library had been housed in the Scituate Harbor Community Building, formerly home to Pier 44 Restaurant. About two-thirds of the library collection was stored in the basement of town hall during that time, Finnie said.
“We had a lovely view and were fortunate to have a space,” she said. “It was tight quarters, but well worth it.”
The new library has 32,000 square feet, compared with the original 26,000. But Finnie said patrons couldn’t use the old library’s lower floor because it wasn’t handicapped accessible, so the new building doubles the amount of usable space.
“We’re really pleased,” she said.