Abbot Library construction launch party

Abbot Public Library celebrates the launch of its construction overhaul with members of the Board of Trustees and town and state officials, Building Renovation Committee, Abbot Public Library Foundation, Friends of Abbot Public Library, and the Dritwood Garden Club on Wednesday. Photo by Spenser Hasak

The Board of Trustees of Abbot Public Library held a launch party to celebrate the beginning of construction to renovate the library. Construction on the $9 million project began Jan. 25.

Those who spoke at the event included Chair of the Board of Trustees of Abbot Public Library and Building Renovation Committee Gary Amberik, Select Board Chair Moses Grader, and Director of the Abbot Public Library Kimberly Grad.

“Our motto throughout this campaign has been: Our 17th century town deserves a 21st century library,” Amberik said. “We are truly thankful for everyone who supports us in that vision.”

The newly renovated library, he said, will have “new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient LED lighting systems, improved high-speed Wi-Fi, [and] upgraded and expanded fire alarm and fire protection systems.”

There will also be a new elevator, new landscaping, and new meeting rooms filled with “lots of comfy chairs.”

“Our team has accomplished a lot since the early planning of the renovation project began over five years ago,” Amberik said. “Today serves as an opportunity to get together and take a moment to appreciate all that we’ve accomplished.”

During Grader’s speech, he talked about how important the library was for his son growing up. The library and librarians, he said, played a significant role in his son’s life by teaching him to fall in love with books, which eventually led him to studying at the University of Oxford.

“The library is a place that can provide accurate and reliable information access to a variety of resources and points of view that’s essential for our informed citizens and free thinking individuals,” Grader said. “I really believe we are renewing and embracing a critical institution at the heart of our town’s society.”

Grader made sure to emphasize how the entire Select Board is “very supportive” of the work being done at the library.

Grad said she was “grateful to the team who’s making all the renovations happen.” Also, in addition to the building’s renovation, the garden in the back is going to have a new look as well, she said.

“We’re so pleased to celebrate the start of the actual renovation of this building, and it’s so wonderful to see around here today,” Grad said. “Thank you to everyone for your dedication to this project. We all persevered in very challenging times to bring us to this point.”

Also in attendance were special guests including Town Administrator Thatcher Kezer; Massachusetts State Representative Jenny Armini (D-Marblehead); Building Renovation Committee members; representatives from the Abbot Public Library Foundation, Friends of Abbot Public Library, Second Century Fund, and the Driftwood Garden Club; and team members from architects Johnson Roberts Associates, CHA Consulting, and L.D. Russo.