New cupola on Plumb Library shines thanks to community effort
The eagle is back on Plumb Library, now sitting atop a new cupola.
The original cupola, built in 1976, allowed water to leak into the ceiling, which sometimes overflowed into the library.
“It had been band-aided for years,” said Andrew Daniel, the town’s facility manager. “Twenty years ago, it was time to take it down.”
To build a new cupola would have cost the town $14,000, $12,000 to build it and $2,000 to restore the metal eagle on top.
“We didn’t have that in the budget,” Daniel said.
But when Old Colony carpentry teacher Stu Norton found out about the project, he offered his students’ services to the town.
When Norton retired in the fall, Douglas Sims took over and the students used their time inside last winter to build the cupola in the same size and style as the original, with windows on all four sides.
“It’s built a lot better than the original,” Daniel said.
The icing on the cake came when Rick Miranda, owner of the New Bedford-based Diversified Roofing Systems, volunteered to add copper details to the structure.
“Soldering copper is a lost art,” said Daniel.
The copper was something he had wished for, but without the donation from Diversified Roofing, the town couldn’t have afforded the expensive material and work on the cupola.
“I’m really looking forward to when it turns green, that patina. It’s going to look sharp,” he said.
Miranda also invited Old Colony carpentry and welding students to the workshop to show them how the copper work is done.
“The students didn’t want to leave,” said Sims.
Miranda did the town another favor when he offered to bring his crane and have his guys help Daniel install the cupola, saving the town a costly and challenging installation.
Without the crane, Daniel said he would have had to bring the cupola up in three pieces and assemble it on the roof.
“[Miranda] really saved the day on this,” Daniel said. He joked, “It was going to be kinda hard to put this on my back and get it up there.”
The new cupola will not be connected to the interior of the building as the former one was.
“It’s more decorative than functional, but we won’t have to worry about leaking,” Daniel said.
Library Director Gail Roberts expressed her thanks for everyone’s hard work to bring the project to fruition.
“We could not have done it without them,” she said. “It’ll last another hundred years.”