Meredith Public Library Director Erin Apostolos cuts the ribbon on the library's new addition with help from library trustees Paul Eldridge, Jonathan James, and Ann Butler. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
December 09, 2021MEREDITH — The ribbon was formally cut on the newly expanded Meredith Public Library and members of the community and beyond celebrated the results of the nearly 10-year project.
Supporters from the community and across the state gathered at library on Saturday morning to celebrate the finished project. The ribbon was cut on the new section of the library at 11 a.m., followed by a dedication ceremony.
"It's been a labor of love for many, many people," said library trustees chair Ann Butler. "The fact you are here to show your appreciation for the new library warms my heart."
Library trustee and Building Committee chair Betty Strader recounted the history of the project. The expansion and renovation project had been in the works since around 2011. In 2018, the town approved the design for the library and the Building Committee started meeting in 2019. Voters approved the project at the 2020 town meeting and construction went on into 2020 and 2021.
The project went on while working with the ongoing pandemic, supply chain issues, hitting ledge, and other issues.
Strader said the building today is built with room for any future expansion.
"You will see how flexible and fluid the design is, allowing future generations to use this design here today," Butler said.
Speakers recognized architect Ron Lamarre, Milestone Construction, owners project manager Michael Bross, library trustees and staff, and others for their efforts to make this project a reality.
Strader said during the pandemic they had Zoom meetings with Milestone and some people on their staff became like adopted members of the library team.
"They went above and beyond to get what we needed done and a personal attention despite the many inconveniences we had," Strader said.
Strader was also recognized for her hard work and diligence throughout the process.
"Betty Strader went over and beyond, there wasn't a penny spent out of place in the budget," said selectman and library trustee Jonathan James.
Praise was also given to Jim McFarlin, president of the Meredith Library Fund. McFarlin earned the nickname "McDonate" for his dogged efforts to raise money for the project.
The fund raised $1.06 million for the project, offsetting the cost of the bond.
"You should all be happy as Meredith taxpayers because it reduced the bond," McFarlin said. "It really was a public/private partnership for the town."
Different rooms were dedicated to different people who made significant donations to the project. The function room was dedicated to Alexander Nichiporuk. Nichiporuk, a Russian immigrant and MIT graduate, passed away in 2010 and his entire estate was donated to the Meredith Public Library as an endowment.
The New Hampshire Library Trustees Association presented a special Library Service Contribution Award to McFarlin. Anne Chant, vice president of the NHLTA, recognized McFarlin's fundraising work and also recognized how he helped repair the relationship between the town and the library.
"No doubt his positive personality built goodwill," Chant said.
Chant noted how the 2020 warrant article passed with 90 percent voter approval and how the project continued even during the pandemic.
Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan also sent letters congratulating the library for its expansion and supporting the work of the Meredith Public Library.
State Sen. Bob Giuda presented a resolution from the state senate expressing its appreciation for the project.
Giuda sits on the LCHIP board and has reviewed the different project applications the library has submitted for funding.
"It's just been a magnificent project you have done," Giuda said. "I think Meredith is the definition of what it means to be a New Hampshire community."
After the dedication, guests explored the newly expanded library with guided and self-guided tours. There were also demonstrations of the new makerspace room and the new 3D printer.
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