The Poughkeepsie Public Library District embarked on a three-phased facilities plan in 2005. The first phase was the expansion of the parking lot at Adriance Memorial Library, the Library District’s main library.
In 2007, the second phase began with a two year expansion and renovation project of Adriance Memorial Library from a 20,000 SF inaccessible Beaux Arts building to a 42,000 SF fully accessible public space that respected the traditional Beaux Arts architecture while providing modern spaces with all of its accoutrements.
The third and final phase of the plan was begun in 2012 with the purchase of an old IBM power plant as a replacement for our branch library. The branch had been situated in an office building that was located in a commercial corridor, along with its three lanes of arterial traffic. The new branch is in a more suburban setting on six acres and designed with potential expansion in mind.
Every project provides its challenges for a variety of reasons. Whether it be municipal planning, zoning, or permitting or the default of a contractor, it seems like the first two phases of our plan went relatively smoothly only to hit us full-force in the third and final phase. Eventually, all of the issues were worked out to everyone’s satisfaction without lingering animus but it is interesting to note that the project with the apparent easiest site issues proved to be the most complicated to complete.
The Library District’s facilities plan has been funded primarily with voter-authorized borrowing. All three projects had public referenda on General Election Day. In total, the voters approved nearly $22.5 million dollars for the plan over four separate votes, including a vote for $700,000 authorizing funding for all of the pre-referendum planning expenses. The balance was financed with New York State construction grants, naming opportunity gifts, and $500,000 from the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District.
The new branch, the Boardman Road Branch Library, was celebrated with a family concert by Tom Chapin and Friends on Sunday, April 12. Over 650 people attended the event on the first beautiful spring day after a long, hard winter.
It’s been a long, nine-year journey but it has been worth it.