By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — MOOERS — Construction will start soon on a new Mooers Free Library and community center.
Controversy over the project has died down since the location of the new facility was changed from next to the Mooers Town Offices to a piece of property on School Street.
The property, which is less than an acre, was donated by Dr. Wayne Evans and his wife, Susan, who is the Mooers Free Library Board president.
It is located next to their home on 15 School St., on the back side of an empty lot left when a home on Route 11 was destroyed in a fire.
In the future, the library might be able to acquire land around the donated property if it is needed, Mrs. Evans said.
Mooers Free Library librarian Jackie Madison is pleased with the site.
“I wanted (the library) to be visible, and I think being near the (Mooers Elementary) school is a good place because it offers more opportunities to interact with children,” said Mooers Free Library librarian Jackie Madison.
Madison said the Elementary School doesn’t have a librarian.
The cost of the new library/community center is expected to be $58,508.93, based on vendor estimates. So far, $38,535 in funding has been secured.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Outreach Project Consultant Paul St. Pierre will work with the Town Council and Library Board to make the building environmentally friendly, the Mooers Free Library Board said in a press release.
Construction will have to start soon, Madison said.
She was required to update state officials on the progress of the project since the state has awarded about $11,000 from the Public Library Construction Grant Program for the new facility.
“I said it would be done by the end of this year,” Madison said.
She and the Library Board are still waiting to hear about possible funding from the Gladys Brooks Foundation.
Residents have expressed their support for a new library to Madison since the Town Council voted to move forward with the project, she said.
However, “they seem to either forget or overlook the fact that this is also going to be a community center.”
Local groups will be able to use the space to hold meetings, presentations and other events.
Mrs. Evans said the library will provide residents with much-needed access to modern technology.
“There are so many people that don’t have computers.”
“I think it’s going to be very beneficial to the community,” Madison said.
The next meeting of the Mooers Town Council is 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Mooers Town Offices.
Email Felicia Krieg:firstname.lastname@example.org