The Maplewood Township Committee unanimously approved $12 million in funding for library renovations at their meeting on Feb. 16.
The project, titled “A Library for the 21st Century,” includes an expansion, more seating, a community room, a children’s program room, a conference room, collaboration rooms, study rooms, a MakerSpace/computer lab, a business center and a local history center.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, people called in to express their support of the library renovations. Ben Cohen, President of the Maplewood Library Foundation, thanked the township committee for its commitment to the library.
“My real emotion here is one of gratitude,” Cohen said. “A lot of people have worked very hard over these last five-plus years to get to where we are this evening.”
Sarah Lester, Director of the Maplewood Memorial Library, explained how the project will improve the library.
“Our new library will be inspiring, inclusive, technologically advanced, sustainable, and open for all for years to come,” Lester said.
Katherine McCaffrey, President of the Maplewood Memorial Library Board of Trustees, said that the library renovation will benefit the Maplewood community.
“Our library is the heart of our community,” McCaffrey said. “It serves every member of our community and we desperately need a revitalized structure.”
Committeeman Greg Lembrich shared his support of the project before voting.
“It’s my pleasure and my privilege, really, to vote for this tonight,” Lembrich said.
The bond ordinance is introduced at the 31:45 mark in the online video.
The next Maplewood Township Committee meeting, which will be held via Zoom, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 2.