Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Public Library and its Board of Trustees, the City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management Department, and the Jamaica Plain community, celebrated a groundbreaking for a major renovation project for the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library located at 12 Sedgwick Street. The renovations to the building, constructed in 1911, will provide more than a 20% increase in space for the community to read, browse the book collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming.
“Libraries are at the heart of every Boston neighborhood, and the Jamaica Plain community is passionate about their community,” said Mayor Walsh. “This investment in the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library will provide new opportunities for learning to children, teens, and adults, and serve as a meeting place for neighbors.”
“Investing in our neighborhood libraries, and expanding learning and opportunity to all corners of the City, is core to the Boston Public Library’s mission,” said John Hailer, Interim Chair of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees. “Thank you to Mayor Walsh for making this commitment to the Jamaica Plain Branch, and I look forward to gathering here again for the ribbon cutting.”
“The JP community has been advocating for these renovations for many years. Thanks to a great collaboration between neighbors, City Hall, and the BPL, this project is moving forward, and the new features of the Jamaica Plain Branch will be truly reflective of the needs of this diverse community,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library.
The $10 million renovation includes: a 700-square foot addition facing South Street that will serve as a community reading lounge; a terrace along Sedgwick street where residents can read and mingle; multiple meeting spaces; improved and more flexible space for children, teens and adults; and a refreshed collection of 30,000 books. Technology improvements include 15 new desktop and 20 laptop computers, free WiFi, additional self-checkout stations, and a creative suite of software in the new digital maker-space. Other features include an elevator for full ADA accessibility to all levels, new and more efficient mechanical systems, parking for over 20 bikes, and new exterior landscaping.
To determine priorities in the building redesign, the Boston Public Library, the City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management team, and Utile, Inc. Architecture & Planning, the design firm for the project, collaborated closely with the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and the community at-large. The general contractor for the project is Colantonio, Inc.
The Jamaica Plain Branch of the BPL will be closed throughout the renovation and is anticipated to re-open in spring 2017. During the construction Jamaica Plain residents are encouraged to use the nearby Connolly Branch of the BPL located at 433 Centre St, and the Egleston Square Branch of the BPL, located at 2044 Columbus Avenue.
About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.