Reaffirming his commitment to bringing quality library services to neighborhoods throughout the City, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the reopening of the Jamaica Plain Branch to be held on May 20th after a $10 million renovation, along with nearly $14 million in planned library projects across the city in FY18 and an additional $102 million in funding for library projects slated for FY19-FY22.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s FY18-FY22 Capital Budget reflects a commitment to the Boston Public Library as a 21st century urban public library under the leadership of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library and BPL President David Leonard. This year, BPL and the City of Boston Public Facilities Department will open the renovated Jamaica Plain Branch, break ground on new branches, launch design and programming studies for others, and address a slate of interior and exterior upgrades in branches across the City.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the reopening of the Jamaica Plain Branch at 30 South Street. The $10 million renovation revitalizes the branch services and spaces, including a 20 percent increase in space for the community to read, browse the collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming. All are welcome to attend this event.
“Libraries are essential resources for neighborhoods, and it is important that we continue investing in them to improve access, add services and build a strong sense of community,” said Mayor Walsh. “The renovation project in Jamaica Plain is a great example of how we’re giving community members the 21st century services needed to pursue their passions. I am grateful to all involved for bringing this project to fruition, and look forward to the future projects across the City that will enhance our libraries.”
“The renovation is a collaborative effort between the City of Boston, the library and the community, and we are confident the renovation will serve as a gathering space for lifelong learners, meeting the needs of our users today and well into the future,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.
The renovation features 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 items. Technology improvements include 15 new desktop and 20 laptop computers, free WiFi, additional self-checkout stations, and creativity 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.
Boston Public Library, the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, 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 to design a renovated library that fulfills the needs of library patrons and visitors. The general contractor for the project is Colantonio, Inc.
Most major renovations or new construction projects undergo a programming, design, and construction phase, including significant community engagement to gain input, feedback and insight from users.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), along with the American Library Association (ALA) recently awarded eight library buildings across the United States with their annual AIA/ALA Library Building Award. Two of the eight buildings recognized with this award were City of Boston projects, including the East Boston Branch and the Central Library Renovation of its Johnson Building.
Follow progress on these projects below via https://bpl.org/about-us/finances-budget/capitalprojects/.
Breaking Ground on New Branch Library Projects
Dudley Branch Construction
In FY18, construction will begin at the Dudley Branch. This $14.7 million project is a comprehensive building renovation focused on supporting a welcoming and inviting experience and improved space for library services. The project includes the relocation of the entrance to improve its connection with Dudley Square, interior renovations to improve connections between the building’s spaces, and enhanced community and program space.
Temporary Library Services in Chinatown in 2017
This calendar year library services will be restored to Chinatown after 54 years, fulfilling long-term community advocacy to restore library services to the neighborhood. These temporary library services will open at the China Trade Center located at 2 Boylston Street in Chinatown in 2017, while a planning project for long term services is underway. The location will include services such as a community gathering space, a place to study and learn, and access to computers and the internet.
Programming Studies to Transform Our Branches
Fields Corner Branch
In FY18 planning will begin for a facility assessment and building program to identify the needs of the community, and condition of the current branch building. A total of $12.1 million is being invested as part of the five-year Capital Plan.
Uphams Corner Branch
In FY18, planning will begin at the Uphams Corner Branch to re-imagine library services and spaces for the Uphams Corner neighborhood. A total of $18 million is being invested as part of the five-year Capital Plan.
Long Term Library Services in Chinatown
In FY18, planning for long term library services for the Chinatown and downtown communities will continue. This process will inform the Chinatown Library Services Planning Study and identify the types of program spaces, technology, and collections that are of interest to the community.
In addition, this calendar year library services will be restored to Chinatown after 54 years, fulfilling long-term community advocacy to restore library services to the neighborhood. These temporary library services will open at the China Trade Center located at 2 Boylston Street in Chinatown in 2017, while the planning project for long term services is underway. The location will include services such as a community gathering space, a place to study and learn, and access to computers and the internet.
Design Projects to Re-Imagine Our Branches
In FY18, design projects will begin at the Adams Street and Roslindale branches. In the design phase, architects review, update, and enhance the information from the programming study and start to design a building or renovation with the assistance of engineers and relevant discipline specialists.
Adams Street Branch
In FY18, the design process for the 65-year old Adams Street Branch will launch. The soon-to-be completed programming study and community process will result in recommendations for new construction that will expand the building footprint, and add new meeting rooms, an enhanced teen space, and redesigned outdoor spaces. The total project cost, including construction is estimated at $12.6 million.
In FY18 the Boston Public Library will continue the design process for the renovation of the Roslindale Branch. The renovation design will reconfigure the layout of the interior of the building using as a starting point a planning study completed with the community in 2013. The total project cost including construction is estimated at $6.7 million.
Facility Improvements to Update Existing Branch Spaces
As part of the FY18-FY22 Capital Plan, $15.7 million will be invested to help preserve the historic rare books and manuscripts collection at the Central Library. The first phase of the project commenced in February 2017 with an inventory of the Rare Books & Manuscripts Department’s nearly 250,000 rare books and one million manuscripts, in preparation for the second and major phase of the project: substantial renovation with a focus on environmental and mechanical improvements to better regulate temperature and humidity control of the department’s collection storage areas, staff spaces, conservation lab, and public reading room.
In FY18, critical repairs to the Parker Hill Branch will address a series of façade and exterior problems and prevent future leaks at the branch. The project also includes interior painting, plaster repairs, masonry repairs, and window replacement. The total project cost is $2.4 million between FY17-FY19.
In FY18, the Lower Mills Branch will undergo an interior reconfiguration project, which will include minor electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades, as well as new carpet, paint, and some furniture, with particular attention to the borrower services area. The total project cost is $94,000.
In FY18, the South Boston Branch will undergo a facilities project to improve landscaping and access to its exterior garden, for a total cost of $99,000.
In FY18, the South End Branch will undergo an interior reconfiguration project, which will include major electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades, as well as new carpet, paint, and some furniture, for a total cost of $132,000.
In FY18, the West Roxbury Branch will undergo an interior reconfiguration project, which will include minor electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades, for a total cost of $100,000.
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.