City funds JP Library renovation

Funding for the first phase of a long-delayed major renovation to the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library (BPL) was approved as part of the City budget last week.

“The Library looks forward to working with the community as we move into the design phase of the Jamaica Plain Branch renovation project,” BPL Director of Library Services and Branches Christine Schonhart told the Gazette in an email. “It’s exciting to see this move forward and the Library is grateful for all the community support and participation in this process.”

“I’m just so thrilled to have played a role and I can’t wait for the ribbon cutting in a few years,” City Councilor Matt O’Malley told the Gazette last week.

“After a nearly 10-year wait with a few unexpected delays due to the economic downturn, the Friends of the JP Branch Library are so excited to have the first official encumberance [approval] in the FY14 budget,” Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library co-chair Gretchen Grozier told the Gazette in an email.

The proposed renovation of the 12 Sedgwick St. branch would create a new glass-encased 700-square-foot computer room, a patio and a new main entrance, all of which would face South Street. It would also add an elevator and upgrade the entrance and other facilities.

The FY2014 budget approved $200,000 for the renovation, which will cover the final architectural plans for the renovation.

“Then the rest of the $8.4 million will be [requested] in the next couple of years,” Grozier said. “It’s not officially encumbered but it would be highly unusual for [the City] to not continue on with the project.”

The next steps in the renovation include putting out a request for proposals for designer services, selecting a designer and continuing the community process, Schonhart said.

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