Library renovation options presented

June 6, 2014
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Various options for the planned renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library at 12 Sedgwick Street were shown to the community at a community meeting on May 21.

Because of the branch’s age and historic significance, none of the proposed plans can accommodate all the good ideas the team has had, Boston Public Library Director of Branch Libraries Christine Schonhart said.

“This project is about choices,” she said at the meeting, explaining that priorities must be chosen for the renovations’s plan.

The design team presented three possible alternatives for a new main entrance: two facing South Street and one facing Sedgwick Street. The location of the main entrance would dictate whether it will be handicapped-accessible and what sightlines library employees would have inside the building.

The alternative preferred by the design team would place the new main entrance on the South Street side of the building, on the corner nearest to Curtis Hall. That would allow a gently-sloping ramp front-door access. The historic Sedgwick Street entrance would remain active.

There was also discussion on the potential amenities being considered for a “maker space,” or workshop for small craft projects. That included computers and related software issues.

The next community meeting is expected to be scheduled in July, following a design team consultation with the Massachusetts Historic Commission.