Library renovations to begin this fall in Hadley 

  • The Goodwin Memorial Library in Hadley GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, August 02, 2021

HADLEY — A project to convert the former Goodwin Memorial Library into new municipal office space through interior renovations will begin this fall.

The Select Board at its Wednesday meeting approved plans from the Municipal Building Committee to move forward with the work on the building, on Middle Street and across Route 9 from Town Hall, so that it can be suitable for meetings of town boards, like the Planning Board and Park and Recreation.

The approval of this phase one work at the building that housed the town library from 1902 until last November, prior to its move to a new $8.2 million building next door, comes from $265,000 appropriated by Town Meeting in June 2020.

Timothy Neyhart, the former building commissioner and member of the Municipal Building Committee, said the work will include installing a temporary bathroom, that won’t disrupt the historical interior, and upgrading electrical wiring so that it is code-compliant.

The biggest issue, Neyhart said, is that the knob and tube wiring is outdated and “is really a hazard at this point.”

Bid specifications will be reviewed in mid-September and the plan is to get work advertised by the beginning of October at the latest.

“The hope is we have enough money,” Neyhart said.

The building will likely have to be formally transferred from the ownership of the library trustees to the town for the work to move forward.

Neyhart said additional projects at the building would happen in future phases, though a foundation for an addition might be covered by the money already appropriated.

Larry Tuttle of Architectural Insights Inc. of Palmer, is designing an historically appropriate addition that would go on the rear of the building, facing the former church that is now home to V-One Vodka.

That project would include fully handicapped-accessible bathrooms, a safe set of stairs to access the second floor and basement, and an elevator for reaching the three floors.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.