Pinehurst Library, Archives Seek Room to Grow
Sitting at a small round table in the rear of the Tufts Archives, Audrey Moriarty meticulously and passionately talks about the future of the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archive.
As director here, Moriarty’s eyes light up as she talks and points at renderings of the soon-to-be renovated building.
Her passion for the library allows your imagination to whisk you away to the new areas like the expanded children’s wing, the new multipurpose room, or the expanded museum and archives.
“What is keeping us from being the best of the best is we can’t accommodate all our great ideas,” she says.
The library board is currently in the middle of an aggressive campaign to fund an expansion of the library and archives. The proposed expansion is estimated to cost about $4.6 million. Work on the expansion is expected to begin in the fall of 2014.
The plans, Moriarty says, will give Pinehurst a state-of-the-art library and archives that can entertain the wildest ideas and serve people from not only Pinehurst, but around the world.
Currently the building has 6,400 square feet of space on its main floor and an additional 2,100 square feet in its lower level. The proposed expansion will allow for 16,000 square feet on the main level and 8,000 square feet on the lower level.
There is no plan to expand the building upward.
“We are not adding a second floor,” Moriarty says. “That is just a rumor that won’t die.”
The plan is to keep the front of the building as is, and add a children’s wing on one side and an expanded space for the archives on the other. The building will also have a cultural center that includes a 240-person multi-function space with a small kitchen.
Architect Alan Stagaard, who helped create the plan, said the design will allow the building to expand without encroaching on the Village Green and without overreaching its current property lines.
The planned design reorganizes the library around a central access hallway. There will be a core area for adults. The east side of the building will consist of a children’s wing, while the west side will be split between the archives and a museum. The central space will also include the multipurpose room.
The expansion will allow for a museum space to properly display the archives and double the number of books in the library from 15,000 to 30,000.
“There is something in this building for everyone, something here that will touch their lives,” Stagaard said.
The building also has built-in flexibility so that it can be changed to fit other needs.
“What’s really clear to me is that there isn’t a person in Pinehurst who can’t benefit from this,” Moriarty said.
Thanks to features like a central hallway and open views, Moriarty said the library will not need a lot of new staffing.
Mike Sanders, president of the Library Board, said the goal is to expand while maintaining the character and feel of the original building and the Village.
“In three to five years people will look at this and say, wow, that is 100 years old and look how good it looks.”
To help kick-start the fundraising process, Moriarty reached out to the Village Council.
In late April, Moriarty called the council’s support “pivotal” when she presented the plans for the new library and asked the village to donate $1 million and up its annual contribution from $20,000 to $80,000.
The council took no action but will likely consider the request as it begins to develop its 2012-2013 budget, which must be adopted by July 1.
The library has been an integral part of Pinehurst from the beginning.
Moriarty says that local support will be important as the library seeks funds from nonlocal donors.
“Everyone is interested, but they want to know what kind of contribution you are getting locally,” she said.
The library has been a local icon for nearly 120 years.
In 1895, the Tufts family provided for a library as a gift. In 1964 the Given Memorial Library was built with a gift of $450,000 from Sara Given Larson. Ten years later the Tufts Foundation gave a $450,000 donation. That $900,000 was used to build and sustain the library and archives.
The idea to renovate and expand the library began more than three years ago. It started when Moriarty asked representatives from Stagaard and Chao Architects to take a look at the current space.
“I had one question,” Moriarty said. “I asked them is there space here that we are wasting.”
The simple answer was no.
“This is the only time we’ll be able to do this so we are looking forward to future growth so we don’t have to do it again in 48 years,” Moriarty said.
The architects confirmed a 1996 study that indicated the building was “woefully undersized” to meet the needs of the population. In the 15-plus years since the study, the population has steadily grown.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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