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Oudens Ello Architecture 2020

Working toward an improved, expanded Library

The Concord Public Library Foundation (CPLF) has been supporting and advocating for Concord Public Library (CPL) for decades. Here's the timeline of CPLF's involvement with efforts to renovate and expand the library.

1857:  The Concord Public Library officially opens for business.

 

1940: In January 1940, at a cost of $250,000, the current library opens at 45 Green Street.

 

1962:  The CPL Trustees first organize the Concord Public Library Foundation as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation for the purpose of receiving and administering lifetime and testamentary charitable gifts dedicated to the advancement of library services and facilities in Concord. For many years the two groups effectively function as one.

 

1995:  Anthony Tappé Associates completes a Library Architectural Survey and Planning Study that recommended a 10-year plan for capital improvements to the library building at its existing site.

 

1998:  THE CPL Foundation initiates a comprehensive revitalization effort which included the completion of a study to determine the feasibility of a fundraising campaign and to gather information regarding what the public would like to see the library offer. The renovation of the Children’s room is chosen to be the first major project. A Status Report and Recommendations was presented by Donna Dunlop on April 1998.

1999:  The CPL Foundation separates from the Library Board of Trustees, and since then they have functioned as two separate groups each having their own board membership. The campaign for funding a new Children’s Room begins in late 1999.

2000:  The CPL Foundation engages the NorthMark Group, Concord, NH, to conduct a Concord Public Library Community Survey. They survey the library preferences of some 400 households in Concord and Penacook, December 1999 - January 2000.

2000 – 2001: The Concord Public Library Trustees and Staff, as well as the CPL Foundation, are all working on Long Range Plans. Concurrently, the Foundation is engaged in fundraising for the Children’s Room Project.

2001:  The new Children’s Room is dedicated in September, 2001. $250,000 came from the fundraising effort, including $25,000 from the City of Concord.

2004:  The Friends of the Library merge with the CPL Foundation, and the Friends' remaining funds go to the Foundation. 

2005 - 2007:  The next several years are filled with efforts to raise awareness around the need for a new library and to encourage City Council commitment toward a new library.

2007: A Needs Assessment Report for the Concord Public Library is submitted by J. Stewart Roberts Associates in November 2007.

2008 - 2010: Again, years of meetings, retreats, and a community open house lead to the formation of a City Library Task Force.

2010: The Mayor’s Task Force for a 21st Century Library submits its Report to the Mayor and City Council.  The Task Force evaluated 29 sites with 46 criteria and stated a preference for a Storrs Street site. The City does not move forward on this recommendation.

2012 - 2013:  The possibility emerges for a new library on South Main Street, but that site becomes infeasible in 2013. It also becomes clear the City is buying property on Prince Street for possible future expansion of the current library site.

2019:  The CPL Foundation reaches out to City Manager Tom Aspell to discuss the future of the Concord Public Library. A Committee (which includes CPL staff, Library Trustees, and CPL Foundation members) is formed. It interviews architectural firms, leading to one firm providing preliminary design phase services. 

2020: In September, Oudens Ello Architecture from Boston presents a brief of their Conceptual Needs Assessment which can seen on the CPL website under the tab “About us: Architectural Study” (click here). One of the renderings from Oudens Ello's report is shown at the top of this page. Unfortunately, COVID stopped this effort.

 

2024: The CPLF Staff, Trustees, and Foundation continue to hope the City of Concord will move forward on the much needed and much studied renovation/expansion of our current library facility, even as the City confronts the need to spend funds on several other major projects. The current library facility has a variety of issues that the City must ultimately face, and the most prudent course of action is to begin the library renovation/expansion project as soon as possible, to avoid mounting troubles with the building and expensive temporary fixes. We hope you will join us in this effort.

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