As a result of the success of the $8.5 million override campaign to renovate Abbot Public Library in 2021, the Abbot Public Library Foundation Board of Directors paid it forward in a big way Tuesday afternoon, inside the building where it all began nearly a century and a half ago.
The board presented a check to the Town of Marblehead for $1 million at Abbot Hall, a promise its members made to taxpayers during the successful LIBRARY YES campaign to pass the override, which at the time was estimated at $9.5 million.
“This check represents the continuation of the rewarding public-private partnership between Abbot Public Library and the Marblehead community dating back 146 years,” Board President EuRim Chun said at the presentation.
The funds were privately raised throughout the last two years. Chun also said that the board will continue to raise an additional $2 million to maintain and update the building as needed.
Construction on the library began on Jan. 25 and is beginning to enter its final stages, with the project expected to be completed in time for the library to open in spring 2024. When members of the public step into the newly renovated building for the first time, they will see major upgrades in technology, larger and brighter meeting and gathering spaces, and a brand-new garden.
Library Director Kimberly Grad has also been expanding and upgrading programming at the library, and will continue to do so through its reopening.
Chun also assured community members that the board will continue to uphold the promises it made two years ago.
“I’m confident that with the continuing generosity of our community to give to our library, we will make good on honoring the full promise of the LIBRARY YES campaign,” Chun said.