New Hadley public library construction ‘moving along’

  • Workers erect metal stud framing for the south wall of the new Hadley Public Library on Middle Street on Wednesday. Orlando Annulli & Sons of Manchester, Connecticut, is the general contractor for the project managed by D.A. Sullivan & Sons of Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Saturday, January 25, 2020

HADLEY — Sometime this autumn, the new Hadley Public Library should begin welcoming patrons.

As its steel frame rises on the former site of the demolished Hooker School on Middle Street, library officials are projecting that construction should be mostly done over the summer, with the building ready to open once everything is moved from the neighboring Goodwin Library.

“We’re looking at a fall move-in date,” said Jo-Ann Konieczny, president of the library trustees.

This week, workers with Orlando Annulli & Sons of Manchester, Connecticut, the general contractor for the project, continued to erect metal stud framing at the site.

“It’s moving along nicely,” Konieczny said.

The project, adjacent to the new senior center that will open in the spring, is supported by a $3.9 million construction grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, $3.8 million from the town and $300,000 in private fundraising.

After meeting the fundraising goal, Konieczny said, library officials are now in the midst of trying to raise another $200,000 to pay for a solar array with about 150 panels, which will be placed on top of the standing-seam metal roof. This will provide heat and power for the electric split system.

In addition to the books and computer workstations that will be housed at the new library, the building will contain community meeting rooms and dedicated areas for local history, children’s activities and teenager space.

The Goodwin, while three stories, was built when the town’s population was about 1,000. Now with 5,000 residents, it isn’t able to meet the needs of the community, and there is no elevator to get people to the second floor or basement, and it has inaccessible bathrooms and knob-and-tube wiring.

“We’re thrilled to be able to welcome all,” Konieczny said, adding that there will be an opportunity for night meetings and various programming, including enhancing the existing partnerships with Hopkins Academy and Hadley Elementary School.

“We’re excited to grow all the things we do,” Konieczny said.