Monterey library moves to fire station ahead of construction

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MONTEREY — The Monterey Public Library is moving to the fire station next week. But it will stay there only until next summer, when the newly renovated and expanded library building is expected to open its doors.

The library will close for about one week, beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, while its contents are moved down the street to the fire station, said Mark Makuc, director of the library. In the meantime, books can be returned across the street, at the Monterey Meeting House, at 449 Main Road.

The $3.1 million project will begin after a groundbreaking scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 6, Makuc said. Crews from Allegrone Construction hope to beat winter so the project can stick to an anticipated early summer completion date.

The library was awarded a $1.9 million state grant last year for the project. And the money is supplemented by a required local match privately raised by the Friends of the Monterey Public Library. Town voters also last year approved a bond for the full cost to keep cash flowing during construction, as the grant money is paid in installments.

Upon finding that certain costs of construction had increased since plans were drawn up, a few changes were made, according to Makuc. Those include changes to the basement stairs and the elimination of a flagpole.

Work to the library, which was built next to the Konkapot River in 1931, will involve removing additions installed later, and new construction that will expand its size to hold more art and books, as well as larger gatherings at what is a community hub and Wi-Fi anchor in the village center on Main Road/Route 23.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.

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