Fanwood Library Improvement Project
Update June 2019
The State Library announced that May, 30 2019 they reached a major milestone as the DRAFT Library Construction Bond Regulations were officially received by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on a timeline appropriate for publication in the July 1 Register. July 1 then marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period, to be followed by a 30-day response period, and then within several weeks the adoption and reposting of the final regulations and an announcement of the solicitation for proposals. The application window will allow 90 days for submission. The State Library anticipates grant applications being due early in calendar year 2020.
Applications will be reviewed by a committee who will make recommendations to the State Librarian. Once the State Librarian has finalized the slate, it will be submitted first to the University President for approval, and then to the State Legislature for their action.
The State Library commented that, “We all recognize that this is not a massive amount of money. However, because we are investing in libraries, this is a major investment in our residents and communities. These investments will reach beyond the structures themselves. They are investments in individuals, families, and businesses in our communities through supporting learning, education, economic growth and stability. These projects are intended to be of strong and lasting value to their communities.”
** The Board of Trustees, the building committee and the staff continue to work with our our architect John Veisz, of FVHD Architects & Planners, to finalize a plan that meets all of the needs and goals expressed by the public. The design opens the library to people of all ages and abilities, offers more and better community and library spaces, small and large meeting rooms, a business center, a teen room, brings the Children’s Department up to the ground level, supports current and emerging technology, and transforms the building into a sustainable community asset that Fanwoodians can take pride in, and one that will serve them now and well into the future.
The final design is close to being resolved by all of the stakeholders, and will be shared with Council and the public. We will then move forward to have all the materials required to be ready to apply for the state’s matching funds, which are critical to the project’s success, when the application window opens (see above). This one-to-one match is made available through the NJ Library Construction Bond Act that voters approved in November, 2017.
** The Board is working with a professional fund-raising consultant, the Friends of the Library and the Fanwood Community Foundation to begin planning a capital campaign seeking private, corporate and grant donations to offset the project’s cost to the public, as well as addressing more long-term development goals.
NJ LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION BOND ACT
** Although the NJ Library Construction Bond Act, which will make $125 million in matching funds available for public library construction throughout the state, was approved by NJ voters on November 7, 2017, the Fanwood Memorial Library, and libraries around the state, are still waiting for the regulations to be published that will describe the application process. The window to apply will hopefully open in the spring of 2019.
READ THIS ARTICLE ABOUT THE DELAY IN FUNDING.
The Fanwood Memorial Library will be ready to apply for Construction Bond Act funding at the earliest opportunity. Our plan will be in place for a beautiful, inspiring 21st century library, and we have strong support from the Fanwood Borough Council, the Library Board of Trustees, the Friends of the Library, and organizations and individuals throughout the community.
Thank you to all of you who voted for a strong future for libraries in NJ. Here is the latest information available: https://www.njstatelib.org/services_for_libraries/new-jersey-library-construction-bond-act/.
Securing these matching funds will clearly have a great impact on the Fanwood Library Improvement Project by providing one-to-one matching funds and significantly reducing the financial impact of the library improvement project on Fanwood taxpayers.
The design of the renovation and expansion of the library presents a feasible vision for addressing the long-standing physical needs of the library as detailed in the Strategic Plan, expressed by the community, and established in the review process by staff, the public, and the council-library building committee.
It opens the library to people of all ages and abilities, offers more and better spaces, supports current and emerging technology, and transforms the building into a sustainable community asset.
The original library on this site was built in 1951. In 1980 an addition was added.
For more information on the project contact Dan Weiss at the library.