New Sunapee Library in Old Town Hall? Committees Look at Conceptual Plan

Earlier in the month, at the November 10, regular meeting of the Old Town Hall Committee in Sunapee, Barbara Chalmers, chair of the Abbott Library Building Committee, presented conceptual drawings for a new library in the old town hall. Both the OTH committee and library board of trustees had previously endorsed the idea to explore the viability of such a project.

The conceptual plan Chalmers presented shows library use of 6,000 sq. ft. of the existing old town hall and a 3,300 sq. ft. addition to meet the library’s space need of 9,300 sq. ft. The library would not use the basement/River Walk level and limit public use of the fourth floor to a “mezzanine” because of code requirements for a building of this design.

In order to facilitate an informed community discussion about the possibility, Chalmers volunteered to do the conceptual design and prepare the drawings. However, if the old town hall-library project moves forward, an architect (not Chalmers) would need to be hired.

Based on the plan, Milestone Engineering of Concord, NH is preparing two estimates: to renovate the building and to tear-down/rebuild to match. The library building committee will discuss the estimates when it next meets, and representatives of the OTH agreed to attend. That meeting will likely occur within the next two weeks.

The OTHC, when they met in October, identified parts of the historic building that they would like preserved: the clock tower, circular horse ramp, and stable/barn portion. Also, committee members expressed interest in keeping the current window layout and a portion of the building for community use.

Since 2007, the OTH committee, appointed by the selectmen, has been working to preserve and find the best use for the town-owned property. The library trustees continue a decade-old effort to build a larger, more serviceable library. While the trustees have available new building plans for a lot adjacent to the old town hall, they agreed earlier in the year to remain open to other options.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the OTHC is Tuesday, December 8 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall meeting room. OTHC members and alternates are: Dana Rampsott (chair), Jo Hill (vice-chair), Kevin Rickard, Mike Durfor, Tony Bergeron Katie Richardson, Ellie White, Betsy Katz, Betsy Webb and Ron Garceau.

Members of the Abbott Library Building Committee are: Barbara Chalmers (chair), Rhonda Gurney (co-chair), Peter White, Faith Reney, Bruce Jennings, Xan Gallup, Lois Gallup and Library Director John Walden.

Shown here are four exterior views: North Main Street (top); East, facing Sunapee Harbor; South, facing the Sugar River; and West Elevation, facing down Main Street (bottom).

One Response

  1. […] a related article: New Sunapee Library in Old Town Hall? Committees Look at Conceptual Plan. […]

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