Taber Library renovation project breaks ground

Sep 30, 2017

Major work hasn't been done on the Elizabeth Taber Library since the 1980s. It was before the American Disabilities Act even existed. Now, the building is getting a much needed facelift.

Town officials and community members alike gathered on Sept. 30 to celebrate the library's imminent renovation, funded by former library director Peggy Repass. The total cost of the project has not yet been finalized.

"For trustees that have been trustees for a long time, we've always had a vision for more," Jay Pateakos, president of the Board of Trustees said. "But we needed a family like the Repass family."

The project, originally born from the need of easier accessibility into the building, will include ramps, gardens and stone benches to alleviate accessibility concerns and create a place where the community can gather.

"It's a gift we will all cherish and appreciate," Library Director Libby O'Neill said. "With the new gathering circle, the library will be even more welcoming."

The project has been in the works for sometime, as the idea was presented to the Board of Selectmen more than a year ago. Because the project is privately funded on a municipal building, figuring out a contract that will insure and protect both parties to the fullest extent proved to be laborious.

However, at the Sept. 19 selectmen meeting an agreement was finally reached and the groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled.

"The only word I could use to describe this day is wow" Selectman Steve Gonsalves said. "[Repass] inspired many people of all ages. And just like the founder of this library, Elizabeth Taber, [Repass] understands the importance of libraries."

O'Neill said a timeline has not yet been established, but the hope is to start building within the next couple months.

"This is a beautiful, historic building in town, but we needed improvement," Pateakos said. "It's time for a change."