PROPOSED NEW SHARON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Sharon Public Library is a vital part of our community. Built in 1914, the 2000 square foot Carnegie-funded library has been an icon of downtown Sharon for generations. It was completely funded by Andrew Carnegie at no cost to the taxpayers of Sharon.  Since that time, two additions were built to accommodate the growing population.  The first was built in 1960 which added collection and children’s space at the cost of $72,000.  The second and last addition/renovation of the library was in 1979, which included circulation and administrative office space, the reference/reading room space and the 75 seat community room, all of which resulted in the current size of 10,500 square feet. All additions to the original structure, listed with the National Register of Historic Places, have left the Georgian facade intact.

The proposed new library will service the town's current and future needs for the next 50 or more years.  Expansion room on the lower level is available in the new design if ever needed.

Adults – the new library will be completely accessible.   The new library will have an expanded collection in all formats.  There will be an easily accessible new materials and large print area with plenty of comfortable seating. There will be an expanded computer technology center and an accessible local history room with meeting room capability.  A quiet reading room with comfortable seating will accommodate patrons reading newspapers and magazines. Laptop/notebook computer counters with tel/data access will be available to those who prefer to work at the library using their own devices.
An expanded fiction, non-fiction, audio and video collection will provide more of the materials that you want.
 
For our Adult Students – There will be a quiet study area for you to take your proctored exams.
For our ESOL Instructors and Students – A large meeting room will accommodate up to 18 students plus shelving to accommodate your texts, newspapers and other training materials.
 
For our Business Community and our work-at-home business partners– the library will have a “Business Pod” which is a private meeting room that has full tel/data capability for you to hold private meetings with clients or hold conference calls or skype sessions.   
 
Physical, Hearing and Sight Challenged Patrons – The new library will be ADA complaint and accessible to all with every accommodation for physical, sight and hearing challenges. The new library will have two computer workstations that will accommodate wheel chairs.  Computer software will enable sight and hearing impaired patrons the ability to function easily.   A dual purpose microfilm & quiet computer study room can be used for hearing and sight challenged patrons to use dictation software and other verbal speech recognition software programs privately, without disturbing others. 
The main community room will have an ADA complaint hearing loop or other device for the hearing challenged. 
 
Children and Families – The new library will have a separate children’s room with an expanded picture book, easy reader, board book, audio, video, and fiction and non-fiction collections.  It will have a separate story time area with comfortable seating for both adults and children.  There will be an early learning activity center inside the children’s room so programming can remain in one place.  There will be a family bathroom with nursery chair to accommodate parents and young children.
 
Tweens – The new library will provide an expanded fiction, non-fiction, audio, video, and magazine collection. There will be a homework station for quiet study and tutoring.  A computer technology area will provide updated technology and school required software programs. 
  
Young Adult/Teen Area – The new library will have a separate Young Adult area with an expanded collection of college and career guides, test preparation materials, fiction, non-fiction, audio, video, and magazines.   There will be a multi-media lab for audio and video production creation.  There will be a (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) STEAM Makerspace for hands-on creative learning activities.  There will also be a separate computer technology center and a counter height seating area for laptop/notebook and other device usage.
 
Public Meeting Rooms – There will be a 120 seat community room that can be separated into one larger meeting room space and one smaller meeting room space.  Both will be sound deadening and able to used simultaneously. Both spaces will have complete audio visual capability. The community room can be reserved for after-hours use without the rest of the library being open.  The community room will have access to its own kitchenette, bathrooms, AV and table storage room.
The community room will also be ADA hearing accessible by means of a hearing loop or some other hearing technology. 
  
Infrastructure – The new library will also feature technology upgrades including fiber cabling for better broadband connectivity. The Sharon Public Library is and always has been a “shelter in a storm” warming center.  In order to provide this service to the town, the library will install a generator.  Patrons come to the library to get warm or to keep cool, to use the computers to conduct their professional and personal business, and to power up their cell phones and other devices during emergencies. 
 
In 2014, the town applied for a Library Planning and Design grant through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.  At the Annual Town Meeting in May 2014, the Town of Sharon voted to approve the $25,000 1/3rd match required for the state funding. The Town of Sharon was awarded a $49,245 grant. The library established a 6 member Library Building and Selection Committee (LBSC) to hire a Library Building Consultant to write the Library Building Program document which is the guideline for the project.  It includes the 20 population projection figure for the Town of Sharon as provided by the Donahue Institute, which forms the baseline for the library building program size.  
 
The LBSC followed all appropriate Massachusetts Design Procurement regulations to hire the Owner's Project Manager and the Architect.  The LBSC hired Design Technique to handle the work of Owner's Project Manager and  Lerner Ladds Bartels (LLB) Architectural firm to complete the feasibility study and prepare schematic designs and cost estimate.
 

1 School Street Site

On August 9, 2016 - The Board of Selectmen voted to approve the use of 1 School Street for a new library feasibility study and schematic design, as the only viable site left in Sharon after hearing that the Sharon Historical Commission would not approve any expansion at the current library site.

As requested by members of the local government and of the Sharon Historical Commission, this new site shall be built with deference to the historical character the old Centre School Building. 

Due to the condition of the current building, which has been changed three times since the original 1892 Centre School, design work will include the preservation of whatever can be salvaged from the current school.   Depending on condition at time of construction, that could include cornices, dentils, the fan light window over the door, preserved original wood flooring, etc. 

Architectural and schematic design work began on September 7, 2016 with the perk test. All required testing is in compliance with the Massachusetts Library Construction Grant program.  

Read the Architectural Assessment prepared by two different Architects hired by the Superintendent of Schools in 2011.