Monterey Library to show off new look after $3.1M in renovations

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MONTEREY — The director of the Monterey Library is all smiles as he shows off the newly renovated and expanded library, which was completed early last month.

Mark Makuc said the project wasn't so easy due to an extensive and "grueling" environmental permitting process because the building is so close to the Konkapot River. But this proximity makes the library extra special, and worth the trouble, he said.

Now the community has a vibrant center in the heart of the village in which to get Wi-Fi, or take a toddler to the easily accessible bathrooms that are just inside the front doors, Makuc said.

"Libraries are more than libraries," he added.

On Saturday, all this will be celebrated with a grand opening hosted by The Friends of the Monterey Library beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a children's program, and followed by a ribbon-cutting, speeches and lunch.

The $3.18 million project, which Allegrone Companies began last fall, renovated the original building and created a sunlit addition with a deck overlooking the river.

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It was paid for by a $1.85 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, town borrowing, as well as $187,000 from 427 individual donors.

The construction phase of the project was finished under its $2.6 million budget.

The original building is now a large conference room with a capacity for 80, a projection system, and space for art installations and parties. The sunlit addition has a deck with outside seating, two private meeting rooms and shelving units on wheels for increased flexibility in the space. The bathrooms are accessible and now have hot water and solar-powered toilets. The lighting throughout is efficient and warm.

Makuc said the new bathrooms make the place a parent's dream — he was thrilled recently to find a dirty diaper when he went to take out the trash.

"This is what it's all about," he said.

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


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