SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield City Council is looking into the possibility of a new library in the city’s East Forest Park neighborhood. Land near the Dryden Memorial school has already been approved by the council as a spot for the new library.
Monday night, numbers for the project were presented to the city council, and currently, plans have the library costing $9.5 million. They are hoping a grant from the state would help cover some of the cost.
“This area was devastated during the tornado, many homes were lost and one of the overwhelming thoughts from the people of this area was to get a new library to replace this one behind me,” said Springfield City Councilor Tim Allen while standing in front of the current library on Island Pond Road.
Councilor Tim Rooke, however, told 22News he’s thinks these plans could be consolidated for a more cost-friendly library. “Plans are, they haven’t been confirmed or approved yet, is a 16,800 square foot facility at a cost of about $10 million, and that to me seemed a lot richer than I think a library should cost with tax payers money,” said Rooke.
An issue the library branches in Springfield face is funding for staffing. In East Forest Park, the current library is only open for more than four hours on two days.
“We don’t have the space, we don’t have the capabilities to provide all the modern conveniences that a library should be able to offer in these day,” said Linda Grodofsky, Supervisor of the East Forest Park Library.
In two weeks, the city council will apply for the state grant. They will not hear back on how much funding they will receive until six months from now.