College students just want normal libraries Atlantic Magazine | Beautiful books and nooks

 

 

just a few photos of many beautiful libraries in Massachusetts (Boston, Gloucester, Quincy, Beverly, Middleton)

As do towns! The proposed new building (Dore & Whittier/Matt Oudens) related to the Sawyer Free Library is landing at the tail end of the visioning trend called out in this  Atlantic article by Alia Wong:

“College Students Just Want Normal Libraries: Schools have been on a mission to reinvent campus libraries—even though students just want the basics.” 

excerpts:

Likely in the hopes of proving that they have more to offer than a simple internet connection does, many college libraries are pouring resources into interior-design updates and building renovations, or into “glitzy technology,” such as 3-D printers and green screens, that is often housed in “media centers” or “makerspaces.”

“Yet much of the glitz may be just that—glitz. Survey data and experts suggest that students generally appreciate libraries most for their simple, traditional offerings: a quiet place to study or collaborate on a group project, the ability to print research papers, and access to books.”

So-called digital natives still crave opportunities to use libraries as libraries, and many actively seek out physical texts—92 percent of the college students surveyed in a 2015 study, for example, said they preferred paper books to electronic versions. (Plus, a growing body of evidence shows that physical books and papers are more conducive to learning than digital formats are.) The dean of learning and technology resources at one of the six campuses of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) recently told me about a student he had met: Upon learning that her campus library had only the e-book version of a text she needed to read, the woman opted to make the trek to another campus a nearly half-hour commute away that had the hard copy. A 2016 survey of students at  Webster University in Washington, D.C., also illustrates limited use of digital resources, finding that just 18 percent of students accessed e-books “frequently” or “very frequently,” compared with 42 percent who never used them.

“Duke University’s 2016 survey of its students drew similar conclusions, finding that book delivery was one of the most important services to students; fancy library services such as instant messaging or data-visualization help fell much lower on students’ priority lists. A separate, years-long project on community-college students by the NOVA dean and a team of researchers found that respondents “most often view the library as the service provider they would likely go to” for an array of bread-and-butter needs, such as help gathering research for a paper, registering for classes, or applying for financial aid. Demand for access to devices such as 3-D printers and virtual-reality headsets was relatively low; respondents tended to highlight the need for reliable Wi-Fi instead.

“Many college libraries are reinventing themselves, but perhaps they’re trying to fix an institution that isn’t, in fact, broken…”

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/10/college-students-dont-want-fancy-libraries/599455/

Rockport Library has dedicated quiet conversation and reading spaces as do Beverly, Quincy and Boston.

Dore & Whittier School consolidation plans & costs heading to MSBA August 1, 2019

 

On July 18, 2019 the architectural firm, Dore & Whittier, was slated to reveal associated rough costs on new school(s) buildings– such as construction costs, swing space costs, and eligible reimbursables– with the School Building Committee. (See summary of City Council requests July 9, 2019 here.) The meetings are public. Associated costs were not transparent for the public. Instead a dollar sign rating system was illlustrated pictorially, like so:

Slide 9 comparative costs 14 options_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (11)

Why were rough estimate details cut from the presentation? A few reasons were provided, namely “MSBA does not look kindly” on public disclosure because

  • The MSBA aims to have the best possible build based on educational needs and goals rather than cost. Publishing amounts can taint the bidding or decision making.
  • The public may be too attached to numbers they hear and/or be confused because of the (lengthy) timeline. By the time shovels hit the dirt the final bids will be different.

Other districts post all associated costs, why not Gloucester? Why are the design/build firms awarded these contracts charged with bidding out the cost evaluations on projects, especially ones greater than 5 million?  Why assume this process is the only way to go about it?

Michele Rogers with Dore & Whittier announced that there were “no surprises” following review of the cost estimate comparisons. “Eliminations were easy; the most expensive were eliminated.” She concluded that this presentation was the second and final per their contract for services related to this Feasibility Study Phase. [This one feasibility study phase contract total cost is: $569,075  ($284,296 for the feasibility study and $275,704 for the future schematic design. One environmental study add on is $9075). Requests for a breakdown of all studies and plans related to new schools–at least since 2012– have gone unanswered by the school committee and architectural firm.]

The next step is to compile and deliver submission to the MSBA, the state agency tasked with reviewing Gloucester’s application for new schools.

Q. Next steps? “Submittal allows us to do geotechnical site evaluation and other necessary investigations (like traffic and environmental studies), and more design. Submittal helps us narrow down and leave behind areas we won’t bother with as we know…We’ll need to tighten the building design and handle specialized pieces. We’ll proceed from 9 options to 6 very quickly. ”

Q. What is the submission? “It’s a thick binder, maybe 10- inches thick, with all our reports to date, the educational program narrative, the space summaries approved earlier, etc.” Will the MSBA require a presentation? “No. The MSBA will review the binders within a two week turn around; then we have a two week turn around to respond.” Dunn commented to make sure the City see that. The MSBA will decide on November 13th or November 20th whether to make a recommendation to allow this proposal to proceed to the next phase: schematic  design. “Or they’ll push back and request more information.” The MSBA “will not require more work on many options as the scoring was so low. They’ll be concentrating on the top 3 or 4 options.”

Tom Ellis was present related to a staff change; Roger who managed the design phase is moving out of state so the team for Gloucester will need to be reorganized. They met with MSBA July 17, 2019 to discuss this change. (Was someone from the city at the meeting?) Chris Tremblay will be assisting. “MSBA doesn’t like surprises,” Ellis remarked.

Who does?

The costs and application should be public before it’s forwarded to the state. Chairman Jonathan Pope said he’d forward the pricing.

Presentation

Double click on pictures to enlarge the slides for the “East Gloucester Elementary School Building Committee 7.18.19″. Color coding continues as in yellow = East Gloucester; Blue = Vets; and Green = Green Street area.

And the winner (high scoring) is…

one location at Vets and both at Green

slide 13_scoring finalists_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (16)
slide 13- scoring on final 9 for state

 

REVISED SCHEDULE

“By October we’ll be back on schedule. Yes, MSBA has seen the schedule and is pleased.”

slide 16 _TIMELINE NOW_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (1)
slide 16 revised timeline expectations

 

Reminder! Community meeting July 25 6:30 PM

Fraternity Club Gloucester, Ma

Fraternity Club.jpg

How did we get here?

Catch up posts, documents, links related to Gloucester’s school committee new school buildings/consolidation process: Continue reading “Dore & Whittier School consolidation plans & costs heading to MSBA August 1, 2019”

TONIGHT how much $? Costs associated with new school options slated for reveal

meeting tonight.jpg

East Gloucester/Veterans Memorial Elementary School Building Committee

July 18, 2019

5pm District Office Conference Room
2 Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Agenda here: http://gloucester-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/10791

Estimates of associated costs (all – building, swing space, architects, fees, etc) and eligible reimbursables.

General public invited next week: New schools, big schools, small schools, where? Let’s gather & talk July 25 6:30 PM Fraternity Club #GloucesterMA 

New schools, big schools, small schools, where? July 25 6:30 PM Fraternity Club #GloucesterMA (Dore & Whittier costs reveal tonight 5pm)

Fraternity Club.jpgSAVE THE DATE

July 25, 2019 6:30PM

And when! “Light Up Mattos has rented the Fraternity Club, 27 Webster Street, Gloucester, MA, for a Listening Post on July 25th, 2019 at 6:30 to talk about the possibilities of a 440 student population in Mattos field area, Green Street and East Gloucester school. Together we can ask questions of each other and really see what we all think of having such a large population of students, and perhaps find new ideas, too. Please come and be heard and listen. Together we can make a difference. We will be looking for volunteers to put information flyers in neighbors doors in Mattos field area, Green Street area, West Parish area and East Gloucester area to get the word out. Proposed schools affects us all!” – Light Up Mattos

Gloucester schools | Elementary: East Gloucester, Veterans Memorial, West Parish, Beeman, and Plum Cove; Middle: O’Maley and fields; High School: GHS and fieldhouse

UPCOMING DORE & WHITTIER presentations for NEW SCHOOL(S) AND LIBRARY:

The next new school meeting is TONIGHT- July 18, 2019. Associated costs for limited options slated to be revealed. Goal for submission to the state agency, MSBA, is August 1, 2019. Meeting held in the School admin offices at Blackburn. 5pm.

Catch up on new school building process in these prior posts:

  • July 25, 2019 public community discussion all welcome! Fraternity club 6:30PM
  • July 18, 2019 Dore & Whittier slated to reveal associated rough costs on new builds/construction costs/swing space costs, and eligible reimbursables, for presentation to school committee (no public comment) 5PM
  • July 9, 2019 Dore & Whittier Presentation to City Council (no public comment) scenes (this post) and link to 1623 Studios/Cape Ann TV taping of City Council meeting July 9, 2019 here questions from city councilors following presentation begin at 27:57 minutes
School Committee Dore & Whittier presentation to full City Council July 9 2019 City Hall Kyrouz Auditorium Gloucester MA ©c ryan (6)
City Council meeting July 9, 2019 included presentation by Dore & Whittier for school committee new building options. Chair reminded audience that this meeting was not a public forum and no costs, final sites or options. There was quite a turn out.

 

Oral Communications july 9, 2019:

“Joseph S. Mattos Jr. grew up right up the street from Mattos field at 9 Linnett Place. He came from a patriotic family and chose the Army for his love of animals. Mattos field was dedicated to Joseph in 1935 and was rededicated last October 5th. the 100th. anniversary of his death.  Lt. Maxwell Parsons grew up at 65 Mt. Pleasant Ave. Lt. Maxwell served in the U.S. Army. Lt. Maxwell Parsons Playground was erected by the Gloucester Playground Commission in 1935   Ganine Nancy Doucette grew up at 19 Mt. Vernon St. The Park was dedicated in 1986 in her memory. Mr. John Gus Foote was instrumental in the dedication. Private First Class Doucette wanted to serve her country and almost could not. She died serving her country as she wished.   I am their voice as they have none. I am here today to speak for them all.   Please don’t take their dedicated open space.  Thank you. Patti Amaral”

  • Mattos family letter to the editor HERE Save-Mattos-Field 
  • July 8, 2019 GDT article by Ray Lamont announcing presentation of 9 options to City Council noting that still nothing is final and no costs or reimbursement  details will be available HERE
  • June 26, 2019 School Commitee votes to accept options 1623 Studio (Cape Ann TV) taping HERE questions begin following Dore & Whittier presentation and prior to vote at 1:05 into taping (Joel Favazza, etc,”sounding the alarm about these sites but continually told hold on calm down this is not the time to ask” and now we’re at final options no discussions. “Foreclosing opportunity (for alternatives etc) despite telling community for months there would be chance.” He mentions 12-15 months but the questions about the sites and process go back well before 2015; see selected roundup below)
  • June 20, 2019 School Building Committee votes to accept 9 options to present to school committee (no public comment) HERE 
  • June 20, 2019 Scenes and recap of new building plans presentation June 17 including full text of readings by Patti Amaral and Mary Ann Boucher  also reminder that school building committee to vote on this day for the options to push forward
  • June 17, 2019 Reminder notice of Councilor Memhard Ward meeting about new schools (open to public comments) HERE

“A round up of Pros and Cons related to the recent West Parish construction and its use and operating costs since being built might be helpful. Some West Parish feedback that made the news ranged from small inconveniences (no dishwasher) to larger concerns about design (despite ample site the gymnasium was not designed with enough space for spectators, the design of the parking lot did not take into account ease in snowplowing and numerous vehicular/traffic snafus).  There was no discussion about these proposals within a broader context of all the school properties, all the elementary schools, merging with Rockport, what happens with development of the older sites if Schoolhouse Road option is undertaken, etc.” Big built out schools haven’t demonstrated a reduction in operating costs.  The state is considering policy for livable, innovative, green and walkable communities. You can’t alter special places, build mega schools that everybody needs to drive to, and have walkable, quintessential New England neighborhoods and green communities. Can we request a modified incentive to best match our geography and green goals?

  • Spring 2019, School building committee website set up spring 2019 https://eastgloucesterbuildingproject.weebly.com.
  • October 2018 GMG post MSBA school committee school consolidation update HERE 
  • October 2017 City Begins Quest for new Merged School: Search on for funding for East Gloucester-Veterans study, Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont HERE
  • In February 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. The MSBA cost page is here where you will find information and data about schools built either a)2008-2013  or b) 2014-current.  West Parish is in there. (List of MSBA projects completed for Gloucester) MSBA splits out designer and project management phases from the final build which means you have to go back and forth between documents. Expected life span for new buildings is 40 years.
  • September 27, 2016, GMG post, Ward 1 Community Discussion about new elementary schools at East Gloucester Elementary School HERE
  • September 14, 2016 GMG post school consolidation meeting  at West Parish HERE
  • HERE’S A LINK TO THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLAN PROPOSAL AUGUST 2016
  • January 2015 joint City Council/School Committee meeting; presentation by Dore & Whittier HERE Option A Maintain all four buildings as they are with same number of classes per grade; Option B Make additions and renovations at all four schools; Option C Remove Plum Cove or Veterans and make additions and renovations at other three (2-3 classes per grade); Option D Remove Plum Cove and Veterans and make addition at Beeman (4 classes per grade), with 3 classes per grade at East Gloucester

The next Sawyer Free new building meeting (also Dore & Whittier)

folds into the Trustees meeting 7/23/19 and specifically capital projects Wed 7/24/19 8:30AM.

 

 

Gloucester Daily Times: New School Options presented to City Council July 9, 2019

State to See Nine Options for New School: Officials hoping to present officials with override in spring, front page story by Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times July 8, 2019

Read the article here

” Dore & Whittier is to present the options — without a firm design or pricing — to the City Council at its meeting Tuesday, July 9.”

“Pope emphasized that, while the council does not have approval authority over a school project, the School Committee is looking for an endorsement of the project concept.”

Gloucester Daily Times notice for New school buildings presentation to city council_20190708_085042 (2)

 

Prior post June 20, 2019 here

School building committee votes to pursue 9 Dore & Whittier building options and timeline

On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the school building committee voted to pursue 9 school options at 3 sites recommended by Dore & Whittier (whittled down from 14 presented on June 13), and the timeline. The School Committee is meeting on the 26th to present this slate.

courtesy photos- “green” indicates the options pushing ahead

 

  • upcoming July 12, 2019 review costs / goal PDP submission to MSBA August 2019
  • upcoming July 9, 2019 presentation to city council (without costs)
  • upcoming June 26, 2019  presentation to full school committee (without costs)
  • Thursday June 20, 2019 architect presentation to building committee (this post)
  • Monday, June 17, 2019 public meeting at City Hall recap here
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019 architect presentation of 14 options at 3 sites to school building committe recap here  also helpful links

 

 

 

Historic District Commission meeting June 25: Sawyer Free Library’s new building presentation

City Hall Central Grammar Sawyer free_20190520_©c ryan.jpg

Historical District Commission meeting, Tuesday June 25, 2019 at 7pm

First informational review meeting to HDC: Sawyer Free Library, review of proposed renovation/addition and exterior concept design

SFL HDC.jpg

 

TONIGHT: vote to whittle new school options. Scenes and recap of new building plans presentation June 17

If you go-

Tonight’s meeting about East Gloucester/Veterans’ Memorial proposed elementary school building(s), will be held at the Gloucester Public Schools District Office Conference Room, 2 Blackburn Drive, Thursday June 20, 2019 5PM Find the agenda here 

Below are a few scenes from Gloucester’s school committee presentation by MSBA assigned designers, Dore & Whittier, and audience statements. The meeting was held at City Hall on June 17 and hosted by Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard.The current status of proposed elementary school plans were reviewed. They discussed 14 options on 3 sites.

Audience members (approximately 125) were overwhelmingly opposed to the plans. People were vocal about green space, Mattos Field and memorial, women and sports, traffic, parking, transparency, consolidation, limited site options, narrow scope (what about the other schools), impact on each neighborhood, evaluation of West Parish, slow timeline, and future plans for any surplus property. Few in favor of consolidation were inclined with those proposed. One woman encouraged checking back in with the MSBA about completing multiple schools at once in lieu of consolidation and costs based on the firm’s belief that most of these options were ill suited.

Here is one statement read aloud reflecting concerns about green space and Mattos Field:

“Mattos field, East Gloucester school area, and Green Street all have the same thing in common: They are all open space and should be protected and preserved for future generations. 

Our Community Plan 2000 remind us over and over again the importance of our open spaces and the places we hold dear. The plan was “citizen-driven” and reached out to residents from all corners of our city. 

Since that plan, we are again reminded of our need and love for open space with our Open Space and Recreation Plan, a plan I was fortunate to be able to be a part of. This plan listed and inventoried all of our open spaces– from our beautiful beaches to our ball fields and parks, to our cemeteries and even our boat landings. Birds. Plants. All find a place in this plan. We talk about how we can protect these places and how we can improve them, but never did we talk about taking them away. 

Preserve, Maintain and Protect. These are the three words we should be using when it comes to our open spaces.  Because once it’s gone we can’t get it back. Thank you!”- Patti Amaral

Here is another statement pushing to reject all or nothing in favor of both/and:

“I’ve been to my share of School Committee meetings over the past several years and I’m learning more and more about what the future holds for the children of our city. There are three sites that the Building Committee has in mind for the “East Gloucester Elementary School” project. Two of those sites will take East Gloucester Elementary School out of East Gloucester.  One of those sites would eliminate the current Mattos Field and another would put the school up on Green Street, 500 yards from the old Fuller School.

The fate of East Gloucester Elementary needs your support.

I stood in front of our School Committee many years ago and asked, “Our schools are beginning to deteriorate. What are we going to do to maintain them? School Committee member, Ab Khambaty (president of the School Committee at the time) said, “Mary Ann, we do not need glorious buildings to educate children. We can teach them in a tent. What children need are teachers who have a strong desire to bring the best out in our children. We need parents who are involved with their PTO’s and staff who care.” I left that meeting very upset, because I was a young mother who wanted it all for my daughter and her fellow students, but as the years have passed I understand his message loud and clear. Our schools do not need brand new facades, grand entrances or hallways that have no educational purpose.

They do, however, need safe, clean and well maintained environments for both students and teachers (staff) alike to thrive in. It’s not the GRAND building that makes a school. It’s the PEOPLE within that structure that make a school GRAND. Can’t we provide safe, learning environments that meet the needs of today’s students, staff and neighborhoods (yes, neighborhoods) without disrupting our green spaces, without disrupting neighborhoods? Can’t we renovate our two schools for less than the cost of a new, consolidated school?

Green Street Playground and field remain green, East Gloucester Elementary remains, as well as it’s green space, Veterans’ and Mattos Field are saved and remain green. ALL dedicated green spaces that are used daily throughout the entire year, not just for school purposes, but for the purpose of enjoying the beauty of what they are and the benefits they each create. The benefits of being outside, socializing with friends, meeting new neighbors, enjoying wildlife. Are we willing to lose teachers and staff that invest in our city’s youth? If we lose a school we will lose more than just a building. We lose the most important parts of what children truly need, the people and their open fields. Take a look throughout our city and others and you will see magnificent renovations to so many of the brick structures, structures that have survived for hundreds of years, structures that have been renovated with the latest technology. We teach our children every day to recycle, repurpose and to save our earth. Let’s show them that it can be done. Can’t we provide clean, safe, learning environments while maintaining and protecting our city assets that residents of all neighborhoods and all ages love? Mary Ann Boucher,  advocate for kids, schools, green spaces and neighborhoods

The conditions pursued by the school committee are variable so it’s difficult to build or defend any consensus. In 2016, the Pines in East Gloucester was a front runner or placeholder. Opinions about consolidating multiple schools at Beeman or O’Maley were voiced but not fleshed out. In February of 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. In January 2019 at the school committee-city council-board of health joint meeting,  Chairman Pope mentioned exploratory conversations with Rockport about merging districts. Could the elementary and middle schools be situated on Rockport’s campus and O’Maley and GHS accomodate the middle and high school populations?   If so why would large school consolodiation buildings be underway? At the June 17th presentation, questions about other potential sites whether O’Maley, or any of the city’s school properties,  or land elsewhere, or merging with Rockport, went unanswered. Representatives from Dore & Whittier said this phase kicked off in December 2018 and was full spead ahead as of January; in truth, the process began years ago with Dore &Whittier. And new schools were a topic when my kids, now in high school, were in preschool (fantastic!) at the High School. Indeed, a generation of students has grown up and teachers retired since an “urgent” need was expressed. Conditions are urgent. Why is this process so costly and cumbersome? Why is constuction so expensive we can’t remedy in real time?

The school committee and new building sub-group welcome feedback and concerns

although they warn that in order for this process to stay on track for a new school ETA occupancy September 2023/24 they need to move forward with these options. Changes will increase cost.

See prior post with more slides of the presentation, mostly unchanged from the week before.

REMINDER tonight 6pm City Hall meeting about school plans for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA

TONIGHT June 17, 2019 Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard will host another Ward 1 Community Meeting and update on the East Gloucester Elementary School building project from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gloucester City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The agenda will include a presentation and Q&A with members of the Gloucester School Committee, the EGS School Building Committee, and our EGS designer/project manager Dore & Whittier Architects. Time allowing, any other community concerns or matters of Ward 1 interest may also be raised & discussed.

Catch up on plans (with building committee’s link added today to last week’s June 13 presentation- note Green Street changes)

Dore & Whittier presented options for new elementary schools (specifically related to consolidation of East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Schools or just East Gloucester) to the EGS Building Committee Thursday, June 13th at 5 pm.  This meeting was not a public forum. However, all present reiterated that questions and concerns are most welcome at the Ward 1 Community Meeting June 17, 2019 at City Hall (details below).

Potential options for three sites were color coded for review

  • YELLOW for East Gloucester School Site
  • BLUE for Veterans Memorial School Site
  • GREEN for Schoolhouse Road Site formerly labeled “Green Street” site

Continue reading “REMINDER tonight 6pm City Hall meeting about school plans for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA”

New school plans Dore & Whittier site options for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA

Dore & Whittier presented options for new elementary schools (specifically related to consolidation of East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Schools or just East Gloucester) to the EGS Building Committee Thursday, June 13th at 5 pm.  This meeting was not a public forum. However, all present reiterated that questions and concerns are most welcome at the Ward 1 Community Meeting June 17, 2019 at City Hall (details below).

Potential options for three sites were color coded for review

  • YELLOW for East Gloucester School Site
  • BLUE for Veterans Memorial School Site
  • GREEN for Schoolhouse Road Site formerly labeled “Green Street” site

School Committee Chairman John Pope and Brad Dore of Dore & Whittier stressed that none of these plans are final. “It’s a long process. MSBA requires options. So these 14 options will be whittled down to 8 options that must go foward. Hopefully by next April, after due diligence and consideration, we’ll move forward to the next phase.” Costs are not factored for any of these options at this point in this process so as to base school design on best fit learning requirement rather than price (see “Matrix” slide). Sub committee will vote on the criteria (see “schedule” slide). Dore & Whittier consulting related to this phase is about $70,000. “These options are diagrammatic. None prove that they can be successful or can move ahead, only that they go to the next level of review. They are just a level of screening. The process is iterative.”

For all three sites, plans focused on parking for staff and visitors without addressing neighborhood traffic impact. All proposals tried to take into account access to community spaces (ie. gym and media center) after hours, parent pick up/drop off, and separation of outdoor space and service access. MSBA guidelines suggest 80 parking spaces per 220 students and 117 per 440 students. “Typically these projects find relief granted for parking and zoning,” said Dore. While new schools are built, students will need to be relocated. Chairman Pope said they’d need to press city on options.

A round up of Pros and Cons related to the recent West Parish construction and its use and operating costs since being built might be helpful. Some West Parish feedback that made the news ranged from small inconveniences (no dishwasher) to larger concerns about design (despite ample site the gymnasium was not designed with enough space for spectators, the design of the parking lot did not take into account ease in snowplowing and numerous vehicular/traffic snafus).  There was no discussion about these proposals within a broader context of all the school properties, all the elementary schools, merging with Rockport, what happens with development of the older sites if Schoolhouse Road option is undertaken, etc.

2 POTENTIAL SITES COLOR CODE _Dore Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan

TIMELINE

targeting July 18th for cost reveals

28 TIMELINE Dore and Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan (28)

 

 

 

 

 

1)East Gloucester Elementary School Site- 5 options both single school and consolidation

Dore & Whittier ascertained that the school’s field is deeded and there’s no option of building out into that green space. It’s already off to a poor start as “the site is reduced by 2.5 acres.” [See 2016 EGS school consolidiation meeting– we already knew this. Ditto consideration of Espresso’s lot, now sold but was available.] Based on their commentary narration, Dore & Whittier does not seem in favor of this option:

  • “A two story option would have structural problems to consider and cons such as creating darker classrooms on the ground floor.”
  • “It would exceed setback lines.” “Extra permitting”
  • “Storm Water management is difficult.”
  • “Topography is difficult. All rock!”
  • There are just so many noted deficiencies. “Generally compressing into a small site means a LOT more money.”
  • Option B3 Problem as no separation of Delivery and Playtime; stressed again how difficult it is to build two stories. “Will this even get through the fire department even with so many difficult permitting issues? The plans push against lot line and trucks may not get back there.” [ed. so why is this presented as an option?]
  • Option C1 430 students is a 3 story option “will recreate parking on street basically the same as now but worse.”
  • Option D NEW School pushes building back, room for 56 parking spots
    • D1 2 story
    • E1 440 students 3 story options
    • E2 crossing property line either by right or by purchase. Brad Dore explained that decisions of that sort happen at the state level. (I think he meant long/difficult route.)
  • One question from the audience went unanswered and encouraged to attend Ward 1 meeting: “Has neighborhood high impact and infrastructure concerns been considered (water/sewer presumably affected with increase to 440 students)?”

 

 

 

2)Veterans Memorial site- 2 options

Plans here were also categorized as failing. “No doubt there are lots of challenges for this one.” Brad Dore said. “Plans here are tortured.”

  • F1 440 students with 80 parking spaces preserving ball field
  • F2 on the ball field

 

 

 

3)Schoolhouse Road / formerly Green Street Site – 2 options

  • 3 story, 440 students

 

 

 

On Monday, June 17, 2019 Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard will host another Ward 1 Community Meeting and update on the East Gloucester Elementary School building project from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gloucester City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The agenda will include a presentation and Q&A with members of the Gloucester School Committee, the EGS School Building Committee, and our EGS designer/project manager Dore & Whittier Architects. Time allowing, any other community concerns or matters of Ward 1 interest may also be raised & discussed.

1 Dore and Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan
photo: Residents observe architect proposals for new school plans Gloucester MA June 13 2019 (questions and concerns can be brought to public forum this was just a presentation by Dore & Whittier of current iterations for proposed new school building plans to the School Building Committee)

sampling of documents to bring one up to speed:

January 2015 joint City Council/School Committee meeting; presentation by Dore & Whittier HERE

Option A Maintain all four buildings as they are with same number of classes
per grade
Option B Make additions and renovations at all four schools
Option C Remove Plum Cove or Veterans and make additions and renovations
at other three (2-3 classes per grade)
Option D Remove Plum Cove and Veterans and make addition at Beeman (4
classes per grade), with 3 classes per grade at East Gloucester

September 14, 2016 GMG post school consolidation meeting  at West Parish HERE

September 27, 2016, GMG post, Ward 1 Community Discussion about new elementary schools at East Gloucester Elementary School HERE

In February 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. The MSBA cost page is here where you will find information and data about schools built either a)2008-2013  or b) 2014-current.  West Parish is in there. (List of MSBA projects completed for Gloucester) MSBA splits out designer and project management phases from the final build which means you have to go back and forth between documents. Expected life span for new buildings is 40 years.

October 2017 City Begins Quest for new Merged School: Search on for funding for East Gloucester-Veterans study, Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont HERE

October 2018 GMG post MSBA school committee school consolidation update HERE 

Spring 2019, School building committee website set up spring 2019 https://eastgloucesterbuildingproject.weebly.com.

 

Sawyer Free Library the new building concept plans and rediscovering architect Donald Monell #GloucesterMA #ModernMass

This photo chronicle begins with scenes from the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library 2019 Annual meeting, including views of the concept proposal for renovation and addition intended for the library as they appeared in the feature presentation that evening with some brief analysis. The second part of the piece provides  background about the American architect, Donald F. Monell, and visual context regarding his designs for the library expansion built in 1973 and largely ignored through this current new build consideration. Links to several reference documents relevant to this process are collected and provided at the end. (This update is part of an ongoing series published on GMG.)

Annual meeting – Arriving/settling in

About 85 people including Trustees with guests, library personnel, and marketing and architectural representatives were present for the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s Annual Meeting on May 20, 2019. (click individual photos to see full size)

Introductions

Mayor Romeo Theken, Library Dir. Deborah Kelsey, and Trustee Chair John Brennan welcomed the public. Brennan thanked several Trustees for long service and welcomed new ones.

 

Award

Deborah Kelsey presented the Mary Weissblum Smith Volunteer Award to Susan Oleksiw and Christy Park in recognition of their curation and management of the Matz Gallery rotating exhibitions over the past five years and their notable careers. Ironically, in the new concept plans, there is no Matz Gallery and limited art space. Read more about Matz’s philanthropy and work in Gloucester here. The major works from the art collection continue to be off view and similarly unaccounted for in future plans.

Dir Kelsey presents M Weissblum Smith Award to esteemed Matz Gallery volunteers_SFL Annual meeting installation views_architect presentation_Gloucester MA_20190520©c ryan

Financial Statement YR 2017-18

The library’s treasurer explained that the Annual Meeting financial reports always illustrate the prior year rather than the one just completed. So for this 2019 annual meeting, the report reflects May 2017- May 2018. He explained next year’s will represent the year 2018-19 and will show red and depletion of the 6 million endowment. Former board members asked about expenses to date, related to the new build, and itemization of the Trustee expenses line item, which was not in use when they served. A trustee explained that a title more accurately reflecting those expenses would be helpful. Reports will be shared.

SFL annual meeting 2019.jpg

Architect’s renderings / Oudens-Ello (with Dore & Whittier for library and MBLC)

 

The 25 million+ quoted for the concept plan does not include preservation of the original heart and soul of the library, the Saunders building, or any mention of the library’s fine art. A recent estimate for potential Saunders preservation begins at 3 million– which would be in addition to any work done elsewhere with the library.

EXTERIOR addition added to Monell_view from fire station_architect presentation_SFL Annual meeting installation views_Gloucester MA_20190520 ©c ryan
View of a proposed addition to Monell (out back). The Saunders House will not be visible. This concept image is not precisely drawn–i.e. City Hall in situ is not captured accurately in this rendering.
Monell addition back and context surroundings_20170129_© c ryan
surrounding context for comparison with rendering above

back sawyer (1).jpg

Stairs and more stairs

3 story glass staircase larger than atrium now_View from Central Grammar renderings_architect presentation_SFL Annual meeting installation views_Gloucester MA_20190520 ©c ryan

Design inspiration did not come from Saunders or Monell. (I asked.) One of the stated goals was striving to continue to make the library accessible for all, although in my opinion since the first presentation years ago, this design undercuts that aim.

Because of gentle switchback steps, currently there is technically no “accessible for all” direct entry from Dale to the Main Floor, or from Middle Street. The accessibility option from Dale curves around to a side* and back entrance. If that level is not the destination, patrons continue to the elevator.

Increasing all of the buildings’ gateway capacities is a fantastic goal. I do not understand how a concept with such tremendous staircase emphasis will remedy that expression of accessibility for all, or ease patron flow. The monumental scale of the three-story glass central stairwell takes up the transition volume between the original Monell and concept addition, and looms larger than the current Monell atrium. In this concept, children’s and teen spaces will be on the top floor. Crowd flow of all ages will need to access the elevator from the ground floor near the back entrance. Once upon a time the children’s wing was on the top floor of the Saunders building and intentionally moved to a space on the ground level. Currently, children’s services is on the ground floor. Friends and librarians using Reading and Salem libraries are not fans of children’s spaces on the top floor.

*The side entrance was sealed off this year due to safety concerns which can be helped by architecture and staff. The new security officers received the biggest applause of the night.

 

Glass staircase design statements — stacked cantilevered and floating– are common features in malls, retail, and transportation (airports!) hubs, often with escalator options, and ample budgets for cleaning staff. They’re not super kid friendly or easy to clean. For this concept, the staircase massing can be greatly reduced and favorably impact the footprint, cost and siting. I’ve written about the odd flow of moving the library’s busy children’s services up to the top level in this proposal. Just one of Christy Russo’s daily programs may bring in 20 to 80 kids and their grown-ups!

Moving to elevator and stairs with or without strollers will increase flow inefficiency dramatically, and be a disservice to an evergreen and engaged population. Children’s could be flipped back to the ground floor, with or without a separate teen space on this level. Research and multi use rooms requested for “21st century programming needs” could be dispersed throughout the expanded upper levels. Safety issues and bathrooms can be addressed on any floor. The librarians have been patiently awaiting remodeling and interior update and upgrades on the ground floor since 2012. The build out goal of 2026 or later is too long!  They need more space, a functioning and better test kitchen, and major bathroom renovations (yesterday!).

Oudens Concept plan Timeline

ETA library tentative opening 2026

TIMELINE_architect presentation_SFL Annual meeting installation views_Gloucester MA_20190520 ©c ryan

SFL Library atrium, architect Donald F. Monell

Monell building, top floor, no artificial light, no filter: looking across atrium with presentation underway on Main Floor as this space was being described again as an uninviting dark hole.

Design inspiration and high bar – Saunders House and Monell

For nearly 190 years, the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library has played a key role in the cultural life of the city of Gloucester and the Commonwealth.  Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library features not one but three iconic buildings. Investment in building projects with such inspiring history, pedigree, assets, materials and form are indeed a rare and enviable opportunity. Any library build should feature both Saunders and Monell. We are so lucky to have them!

There was worry about the Saunders and Monell buildings, the Stacks, and the Rando Memorial garden when the proposed new building first dropped and as this process continued. Thankfully, a Saunders stewardship committee has been reestablished and the Rando Garden will remain. (There was pushback that the “21st century building” left the community with less green space, not more.)  It’s only since last week that razing Monell was taken off the table. And it’s only since February 2019 that the architects began to emphasize green design as they had not realized how valued such criteria was in Gloucester. A workshop was held at the library.

Still, no one involved in the new process was discussing Monell, his inspiration, or influence. Regarding the library 2019 green visionaries—Monell may be more important to them than they realize. After all, he was ahead of his time incorporating wind and solar design into public buildings and homes. I’ve been thinking more and more about Monell, his studies and business ventures, his devotion to Gloucester.

Donald F. Monell earned multiple degrees at Bowdoin (BS, 1937) , Royal College of Edinburgh (1938), Tekniska Hogskolan in Stockholm (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), and M.I.T. (MS in city planning,1941 and MS in architecture, 1950).  He was a research assistant in City Planning at M.I.T. (1940-41), and a Research Associate in solar energy at M.I.T. from 1949 to 1951. During World War II he served as a Captain with the 333 Engrs. S.S. Regiment in the US Army Corp of Engineers from 1942-46. Prior to setting up his own firm in 1952, he worked as a community planner in Tennessee and for various architectural establishments. His son Alex Monell said that his father declined positions with larger international firms. “He preferred working on a smaller one to one relationship with clients.” Monell’s tenure at M.I.T. coincided with I.M. Pei and Buckminster Fuller; Monell set up his eponymous business two years prior to I.M. Pei. I asked Alex if his father worked with architect Eleanor Raymond. She built her home in Gloucester and had similar interest in sustainable design. She is credited with designing one of the first solar heated houses in 1948 “I know he worked with Maria Telkes (who invented a means to store heat in melted crystals that stored more than water could) on one of their solar homes and now that I looked her up I see the home was designed by Eleanor Raymond! So they knew each other.”

Monell was licensed to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York and was NCARB certified. He was a member of AiA and Boston Society of Architects. He served on Gloucester’s Civic Art Committee beginning in the 1960s. He was a trustee of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, an incorporator of AGH and Cape Ann Savings Bank, and a Vice President of the Cape Ann Museum (then Cape Ann Historical Assoc.).  Monell’s office was located in the Brown Building, 11 Pleasant Street. His son remembers visiting his dad on jobs and admiring the hand made scale models. Local residents may recognize the names of Monell hires:  Kirk Noyes who preserved Central Grammar and other award winning developments, was a draftsman, and Craig Toftey helped Monell with the Sawyer Free library.

The new building planners describe the need for a 21st century library. What does that mean today? Back in 2012, technology was the big discussion point and the library a possible tandem option for schools. (Elementary school libraries were shuttered and/or volunteer run, and school librarian positions cut.) Since then, libraries in schools became “Learning Commons” with a tech focus. By 2019 Gloucester Public Schools have a 1 to 1 student computer initiative. There was a desire for grounds improvement, since completed and well received with the Rando Memorial. I was asked about helping with a public art comission and how it might work as a play structure, too. Mayor Romeo Theken reminded us of the homes and neighborhood playground where the Monell addition and parking lot were built. Community input suggested opportunities for more outdoor spaces would be welcome, not less. Library design trends recommend co-work and makerspace options so the library is a community center. (Sawyer Free has been a community center since its founding.)

One thought regarding “21st Century” library tech goals: partnerships with M.I.T., Harvard, and Bowdoin could be fruitful and shored up by honoring Monell. Perhaps they’d help facilitate subscriptions to specialized libraries. Coordinating public access to resources like MatLab as one example would enhance “accessibility for all” in a 21st century sort of way.

Monell’s son, Alex, shared a section from M.I.T. President’s Report, 1951, with a reference to his father: “Mr. R. Buckminster Fuller, visiting lecturer, who contributed significantly to this conference, worked this year with the third-year students in architectural design and presented his concept of the “comprehensive designer” in a program emphasizing the relation of structure to design. In August, I950, occurred the five-day symposium on “Solar Energy for Space Heating,” under the auspices of the Godfrey L. Cabot Fund, attended by about 900 persons who were mostly visitors to the Institute. Mr. Donald F. Monell, research associate, was responsible for organization. Speakers included staff members and outside authorities in this field. Professor Lawrence B. Anderson was one of the contributors.”  

Don and Lila Monell could be the “Charles and Ray Eames of Gloucester”

Portrait of Lila and Don Monell ca.1951_at Sarah Fraser Robbins home_Gloucester MA_courtesy scan from historic photo.jpg
courtesy image: portrait of Lila and Don Monell ca.1951 at Sarah Fraser Robbins (photographer unknown)

Don Monell and Lila Swift should rightly be included on any Massachusetts #MassModernism trail. Monell and Swift, co-founders and collaborators of their own wrought steel furniture design firm in 1950, Swift & Monell, husband and wife, architect and artist, were the Charles and Ray Eames* of Gloucester.  Original examples of their woven leather, metal and enamel stools, tables, and bins are rare and placed in collections. The furniture was exhibited at Current Design (now ICA) and Furniture Forum. They operated the business in upstate New York when Monell worked for Sargent Webster Crenshaw & Folley. They built a studio for their business in their home when they moved back to Gloucester in 1952. Initial prototypes and editions were inspired by touring Lawrence Mills with Monell’s brother in law, who worked in the textile industry.  Alex clarifies: “I do not know what mill my father’s brother in law was involved in or to what capacity, I just remember my parents toured it and found the source of leather. A Cambridge firm sold them for awhile. And later my parents gifted them as wedding presents to close friends and relatives. Ray Parsons a blacksmith from Rockport often made the frames and later I made some at Modern Heat.”

*footnote: Ray Eames was in Gloucester. Before Hans Hofmann settled into teaching in Provincetown, he was invited to teach summer classes at the Thurn School of Art in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1933 and 1934. Thurn was a former Hofmann student. Ray Eames studied painting with Hofmann in Gloucester and was a student of his for years.  Decades later (during an interview with Ruth Bowman, who was wonderful, and owned a fabulous Gloucester Hopper) Eames mentioned 1940, a later date, for when she first learned about Hofmann. On an architecture timeline-  Charles and Ray Eames were born in 1907 and 1912 respectively, and Monell in 1917. They were married about a decade before Monell & Swift and west coast rather than east. Yet they were contemporaries. Art & Architecture case study homes began in 1945 (Eames house, 1949) Eames lounge chairs were manufactured in 1956 (after years of prototypes). Gropius House in Lincoln , Mass., landmark Bauhaus residence now museum was built in 1938, same year as MoMa Bauhaus exhibition. The Graduate school at Harvard designed by Gropius was a TAC (The Architects Collaborative) build in 1950. TAC was founded in 1945 with the clout addition of Gropius who continued with the firm until his death in 1969. Original 7 founders were Norman FletcherLouis McMillenRobert McMillan, Ben Thompson,  Jean FletcherSarah Harkness and John Harkness. Twenty years later, Monell’s Plum Cove elementary school design in 1967 was leveraged by partnering with The Architects Collaborative. Gloucester’s Plum Cove school is a TAC build. Wikipedia lists several commissions. The school could be added. 

Swift & Monell.jpg

The Monells were friends with many artists and Gloucester residents. They were best friends with Sarah Fraser Robbins which is another rich “green” connection for Sawyer  library. The Monells were married at her house and living there when their first son came home! Eventually they built their dream home in Gloucester designed to maximize its stunning  natural setting, all granite and ocean views. Their family and business grew. Lila’s art and home are inspired by wild nature, especially birds and insects, often the subject of her prints and photographs, and even wardrobe embellishments.  (More than one person recalled a striking faux brooch or embroidery like adornment that was actually a coiled live centipede.) Domestic animals and wild birds were part of the family. There were always pet crows and birds. “Our mother raised geese and guinea fowl,”  Alex continued, “Mainly the birds we had were ones she brought to rescue from oil slicks and other calamaties. She was well known as someone to bring an injured bird to.” Lila wrote an article in the Mass Audubon newsletter about two cormorants which she had a permit to raise.  “Sarah (Fraser Robbins) had an old lobster boat, never used as one.” Alex recalled. “They used it for fishing. Our families were quite close. We’d head to Norman’s Woe and bring back seagulls. You know, rescue babies, and help teach them to fly.” He said he got them comfortable being tossed like a glider. “They’d come back again and again ready to launch!” It was easy to imagine some glimpse of his childhood in this idyllic setting. His delight brought to mind My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and Driftwood Captain by Paul Kenyon. Sea and stone. What a playground!

Monell residence Gloucester Ma
courtesy photo:  Don and Lila Monell family residence (ocean side), Gloucester, MA [Architect Donald F. Monell]

Donald F. Monell Architecture

Monell completed many commissions in Gloucester and elsewhere on the North Shore, New Hampshire and New York. Any renovation and remodel at Sawyer Free is an incredible chance to celebrate his work and honor his legacy. After considering examples of Monell’s architecture it is easy to find his personal design in the work he did at Sawyer Free Library. He was trained as a landscape architect as well which helps to imbue his projects with great sensitivity and gentle passages. Many of his commissions are heavenly sites where buildings serve the surroundings,  whether built or natural. His designs are better because of this reverence for context.

(Note on images- double click to enlarge)

Monell architecture – Residences

Monell designed numerous private residences and additions [e.g. Dotty & Lawrence Brown (1957), Laight (1958), Despard (1959), Boyce (1961), Foster, Nydegger, Marietta Lynch, Judy Winslow, Bob and Libby French (1967), Featherstones, John Hays Hammond Jr, and Phil Weld (many)] in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. Several clients were repeat customers. The Brown home is one example. Alex writes that “the residence was altered by my father in the late 70s to accommodate a library when they moved there year round.”  Much of the big collection of books were cookbooks. “Dotty was a great cook and good friends with Julia Child.”

2015 realtor images
photo: ocean side_Donald F. Monell architect, Gloucester, Mass. 1957 commision; and below photo comparison of back same residence ca. 2015/2019 ( seawall, cladding modified since Monell)

Gloucester Mass home_Architect Donald F Monell commission_later interior library addition_ views 2015 vs 2017

 

stilt house kidney pool grounds_Donald F Monell architect_highly modified since commission_Gloucester MA.jpg
then/now photo: Residence (stilt house) designed by Donald F. Monell, Gloucester, Mass. (modified since Monell)

Within a few short years of moving to Gloucester, Robert and Elizabeth ‘Libby’ French expanded their art collection, he was elected Mayor, and they commissioned Monell to design their home and property in 1967.  caption: video shows interior/exterior and was published in 2016. I don’t know when it was filmed. Small lovely moments – note the interior staircase railing, and exterior deck and bridge to glacial boulders. Clearly some modifications since it was designed in 1967 and perhaps since this video.

Monell architecture  – Public Buildings

Besides the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library commission, Monell government and public buildings include the Beverly Newspaper factory and offices, Eastern Point Retreat, Plum Cove School, and the Cape Ann Historical Society. Elements of his signature architecture resonate strongly with the work he did at the library.

Eastern Point Retreat House, Dorm & Dining Halls 1960

For the Gonzaga project, Monell joined two buildings and built a cafeteria and dormitories. Recently his original work at the entrance, connector and dormitories was razed. The historic photos BEFORE illustrate his artistry and display a strong connection with the design Monell established at the front of the library on the stacks building between Saunders and the expansion.

Hall to dorm sadly gone
(courtesy photo) BEFORE: Detail showing Monell’s work at the Gonzaga retreat former connector and gateway heading on the left to the cafeteria (still standing) and to the right to the dormitories (remaining though greatly altered). The compelling double bells and arches, poetry pause in architecture, were subsumed by the most recent build out.

 

BEFORE eastern point retreat double bell double arch Monell connector so poetic
(before- subsumed with remodel ca.2017)

 

New construction circa 2017 subsumes some of Donald J Monell architecture_Eastern Point Retreat_Gloucester Massachusetts_20190521_© c ryan (1)
AFTER: renovation/expansion circa 2017 (Monell additions subsumed and/or altered)

 

 

BEFORE / AFTER – dorm, far left (ocean side)

new dormitory construction circa 2017 altered Donald J Monell addition_Eastern Point Retreat_Gloucester Massachusetts_20190521_© c ryan.jpg

 

BEFORE / AFTER – dorm (parking side)

Microphone were set up to amplify sounds of the ocean (white noise) within the dormitory

 

BEFORE /AFTER – cafeteria low glass ceiling (ocean side) remains

New construction circa 2017 subsumes some of Donald J Monell architecture_Eastern Point Retreat_Gloucester Massachusetts_20190521_© c ryan (7)

 

Plum Cove Elementary School 1966

Monell subcontracted/collaborated with TAC for build

DON MONELL ARCHITECT_ Plum Cove school and landscape design_built in 1966_ Gloucester MA_20190523_©c ryan _073333

 

 

Beverly Newspaper Offices and Factory (now Salem News)

public entrance_gentle poetry_DONALD F MONELL_architect _Beverly Times Newspaper Plant and Offices_1969_ now Salem News_20190524_©catherine ryan (8).jpg

 

 

PANO_studied grace_public entrance_DONALD F MONELL_architect _Beverly Times Newspaper Plant and Offices_1969_ now Salem News_20190524_©catherine ryan (8).jpg

wild friend wild respite.jpg
A local resident swooped from nesting (near the roof?). Monell’s design nearly a wildlife refuge. What a beautiful spot! He designed the Gloucester Daily Times (1956) and the Newburyport Daily News, too

Gloucester Daily Times (1956)

side_Gloucester Daily Times newspaper offices built 1956_architect Donald F. Monell_photograph © c ryan May 2019 (5)

Cape Ann Museum (formerly Cape Ann Historical Society) 1968

CAM_20181219_c ryan

Circa 1967 plans for property by Grant Circle

Monell Cape Ann Historical Museum proposal predates eventual Pleasant Street addition Gloucester MA long before 2019 Grant Circle work
courtesy photo: Cape Ann Museum work by Grant Circle is underway, but consideration of that space began decades back. Here’s Don Monell’s illustration related to a  proposed campus for Cape Ann Historical Center by Grant Circle. At the same time he was asked for concepts related to the Pleasant Street addition which is ultimately the direction the museum went at that time (1968).

Cape Ann Savings Bank

Monell’s work at Cape Ann Savings Bank has been altered at least 2x since his commission. Here are a couple of placeholder “before” snapshots until I obtain better examples. Before (courtesy photos)/After example – Note changes like the Monell staircase design vs replacement and office additions vs open floor plan. The arch window motif remains.

architect Don Monell expansion for Cape Ann Savings Bank Gloucester Mass_ altered at least 2x since commission_20190524_© c ryan (2)

 

Signature elements – arches, contrast in materials, rectangles, winding paths

Monell was concerned with getting it right. You don’t have to know about Monell, his body of work or the history of architecture to be moved or respond. His slow designs are considerate of  their surroundings,  integrating connections with the natural and built environment. Thanks to his gentle, contemplative approach, it feels as though there’s more than enough space even when there isn’t much space to be had.

 

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library

When reviewing Monell’s body of work, it’s clear to see that Gloucester’s landscape, history, art and architecture inform his designs. The library’s connector and entrance are signature Monell motifs and beautiful. It’s no accident that the symmetry of the windows at the back of the building echo the five bays of the firestation,

or that they were inspired and reference City Hall, 1867.

Gloucester mass evolution of City Hall_Office of Mayor (2)

 

No matter which approach one takes to the library, Monell’s consideration of the building and its surroundings is intentional and graceful.

PANO_20170129Monell addition back and context surroundings_© c ryan.jpg

 

 

Special thanks to Alexander Monell for sharing his time, knowledge and inspiring family history. Photos are mine unless noted “courtesy”. Those are extra special as they were culled by Alexander Monell in loving tribute to his father and family that he kindly shared and even granted permission to publish here. More to come!

-Catherine Ryan, May 2019

Further reading

  • May 22, 2019 – Annual meeting – Library’s follow up with the Gloucester Daily Times, article by Ray Lamont
  • May 15, 2019 Questions remain unanswered yet trustees should vote today whether it’s a teardown reno or…  
  • Read more about philanthropist Samuel Sawyer here. Prudence Fish has written about the Saunders house and her book Antique Houses of Gloucester,2007, is a must read. Also see exhaustive 2005 Fitch report (link below)
  • 2017 – architectural renderings Oudens – see above, in this post, and architect’s website. Thus far is all that is available. For the past two years I have been told that the plans will be shared all in good time by architects, trustees, and library. I’ll link when they are. Some documents and updates used to be on the library website.
  • 2017- A House in the Sun by Daniel A. Barber “about solar house heating in American architecural, engineering, political and economic and coporate contests between WWII and the late 1950’s” references M.I.T. and Monell’s work. “Many houses and  heating systems were proposed or built by former students at MIT who had worked with Hottel and Anderson, including those designd by Lof in Colordo. One by Donald F. Monell in Gloucester, Massachusetts, for example, which remained unbuilt, proposed an “orange peel” collector that splayed the solar collection unit across an arc on the roof, and indicated some of the formal varieties of solar collection units that became available later in the decade. Monell also proposed to store the heated water in numerous smaller tanks according to the heating needs of different rooms.”- Barber
  • 2017 – Several round up posts on GMG- search library new building or recent re-post with links
  • 2005 – architectural plans Neshamkin, French Expansion Project – with preliminary suggestions to extend Monell’s architecture out back. There are several ways to approach the addition inspired by Monell* and Saunders. Monell’s handling of the two older structures,  front entrance and addition are important examples of his ouevre, not solely the “facade”, a dismissive term negating his work. At this time another generation of the Matz family was interested in assisting with this work. The beloved Matz Gallery is a hallmark of the current design.
2005 architectural plans show extending Monell architecture to the back
2005 – architectural plans Neshamkin, French Expansion Project – with preliminary suggestions to extend Monell’s architecture out back.
  • 2005 – outstanding Finch & Rose Saunders House Preservation report here
  • 2002 – links to Monell obituary, Gloucester Daily Time, Bowdoin, Boston Globe
  • 2001 – architectural plans Finegold, Alexander Expansion Project (here)

 

  • 1972 – architectural plans Monell  (I posted on GMG here) scroll to end of post
  • 1972 – architectural drawing Monell related to plans for Grant Circle Cape Ann Museum expansion, deferred till 2019 (see above)
  • Matz Gallery example- Mary Rhinelander McCarl solo exhibition 

 

Mary McCarl_Matz Gallery_20190109_ gallery at entrance to Sawyer Free Library ©c ryan
Mary Rhinelander McCarl exhibition, Matz Gallery, Sawyer Free

Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27

Sawyer Free Library Gloucester Massachusetts_20190306_© catherine ryan

Keep What Works at the Library – Keep What Works at the Library”, Martha Bowen letter to the editor, Gloucester Daily Times, March 23, 2019

Keep What Works at the Library LTE by Martha Bowen Gloucester Daily Times_March 23 2019.jpg

UPCOMING MEETINGS THIS WEEK

  • ON Tuesday       March 26, 2019 Library Trustees meeting from 5:30-7:30PM
  • ON Wednesday March 27, 2019 there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting from 4pm – 6pm. The monthly meetings sometimes follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, and sometimes they have been/will be combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019 02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.

Since the last meeting February 26, 2019

 

City Hall from Sawyer Free Gloucester MA_20190306_© catherine ryan

library event page March 25 2019
website 3/25/19

Continue reading “Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27”

Sawyer Free Library new building presentation Tues. February 26

architecture of Sawyer Free Library Gloucester MA_comprised of three buildings_winter 20190224_©Catherine Ryanphoto caption: three buildings of Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free public library, winter 

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Note schedule change – architect presentation with new building committee and library trustees is Tuesday February 26.

  • ON Monday February 25, 2019 Saunders House Stewardship Committee, 10:30AM-noon
  • ON Tuesday February 26, 2019 there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting 5:30 PM sharp – 7:30 PM. Please note schedule change, again. The monthly meetings announced were said to follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, but that has not happened as meetings have been combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019 02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.
  • ON Wednesday February 27, 2019 the fundraising committee for the new building may be meeting but I’m fairly certain it’s not at 4-5am– just a little typo on the events calendar. Maybe it’s 4-5pm

Fundraising committee.jpg

Catch up (click link to select)

 

Sawyer Free new building plans, Prudence Fish weighs in, and public meeting for net-zero green sustainability concerns Feb 5th 2019

Besides the architectural firm, library staff, and library Trustees (including those serving on the New Building committee and the Saunders House committee) there were just a handful of people present for the January 30, 2019 Sawyer Free Public Library new building presentation. There will be monthly Building Committee (“BC”) progress meetings as follows: 2/27, 3/27, and 4/24.

 

sparsely attended presentation mostly architectural firm_ library trustee_ new building and saunders committee members_20190130©catherine ryan
photo caption: Sawyer Free Public Library, Matt Oudens presentation, January 30, 2019, Options 3 & 4 (quite small audience included members of the library Trustees, new building committee, Saunders House committee, and a few residents)

 

The architect stated that the current building was horrible and doing nothing for us, that the new building would improve the look, mediate between old and new, and most importantly provide a strong presence on Dale Avenue. Indeed, The driving goal stated by the Trustees and building committee is to make a statement building that claims a greater presence on Dale Avenue.

I feel that Sawyer’s impact via Saunders and from Dale Avenue (and the back) are elegant. Do we need another City Hall? The library already has a strong individual design identity and at different scales. There’s a possibility for enhancement, but I’m less confident with examples presented by this team. They continue to describe the library in negative terms. They did not consider honoring or determining the delirious, exceptional qualities of this library’s already enviable assets, civic center balance, and Gloucester.

New building projected to cost 30 million + and is All staircase / books begone

Preliminary plans Option 3 and Option 4 were touted. Unlike prior reveals, these plans do include and illustrate the cherished historic Saunders House, the beloved Rando Memorial Garden (described as “the random garden could be preserved”), and a setback from the street (Dale Avenue). One allowed preservation of the north side space that’s there and sensitively sited by Monell.

However, the new options continue to put forth a three story building dominated by an unwieldy progressive or processional staircase  (“usable bleacher seating”) and the children’s services on the top floor with an “occupiable terrace”– an absurd design flaw roundly dismissed by patrons, corporators and experts since first iterations were presented late 2016.  Since they’ve been working on this for years, and options 3 & 4 are only slightly different than what was initially proposed (the “components” were shifted but still there) why aren’t all the plans readied? The earlier plans* had the progressive staircase along the South side of the Monell building. *see below

The efficient Monell building can welcome and disperse 150+ guests for a lecture or presentation on its main floor without any elevator crush. Just as with homes, aged or injured appreciate that the main floor embraces a one level plan. The current entrance steps are few. Existing accessibility options are sufficient for any population. Similarly, bustling children’s services programming — like caregiver laptime– have multiple access options. There is never any stroller traffic jam at the elevator or entrances. We used to line up our strollers outside. As a mother of twins, access to the outdoors (North side and Dale) was a most welcome part of programs and sometimes necessary for “family time” (e.g. swift exit for overtired bawling!) Navigating a rooftop green space terrace and a purposeless overgenerous statement staircase with toddlers and a double stroller would have been my idea of a nightmare. I’m not sure patrons or staff would be excited to bring a group of toddlers on a roof or staircase for serious running around & playtime, but that’s not a problem on the ground floor. Prior to 2014 a couple of Trustees had spoken with me about a climbable public sculpture commission to enhance that outdoor space. It’s funny to hear it being described as dispensable.

Also confounding was the idea behind a glassed in children’s extra room: it would afford adults choices for seating or reading outside the space with the option of observing their charges signed up for some children’s programming. I found that a)creepy because it also underscores welcoming observation by anyone and b)depressing as it misses the point entirely of literacy and building community. I sought library programming to experience with my children and friends and foster connections. (I suppose it could be some type of babysitting amenity??)

  • New Sawyer library building preliminary plans _20190130_ options 3 and 4 not markedly different than options shown 2017 © catherine ryan

 

scituate mom carrying kid on stairs.jpg
photo caption: Scituate was one of two libraries (the old one “very dated and ugly inside not unlike this one…similarly required aerating”) shared as model examples. Note the mom carrying the kid on the dominant staircase. The second model example was Webster which looked similar to the new hospital builds in Burlington.

Prudence Fish reflects on the meeting

I wondered what others felt about the meeting. Prudence Fish writes:

“The meeting of the building committee last week concentrating on a rebuild plan for the Monell building initially gave the audience a certain amount of confidence and relief that a decision had been made to proceed with a plan that would retain the Monell building and bring it into the 21 century. Our bubble burst when the committee was asked if this meant demolition was off the table and were told that nothing was off the table.

This process has gone on for over two years. It will still be years before they break ground and even more years before a ribbon cutting. This process has become a painful never ending ordeal. Throughout this time the projected costs have escalated. The money spent on plans with no immediate end in sight is increasingly extravagant.
It goes without saying that the building should be as green as is possible. However, this is in a local historic district and is also in a National Register District. It is unlikely that the National Trust for Historic Preservation would ever approve or endorse the demolition of an existing 40 year old building in order to build a net zero or green building replacement.

It’s time to cut to the chase and move things along with common sense and a plan that is affordable and meets our needs within the walls of the Monell building.” – Prudence Fish reflecting on the January 30, 2019 meeting

Some Q & A from 1/30/19

*I think the consultants should transcribe the meetings and collect & consolidate prior feedback so as to avoid misstating comments such as no knowledge of the community’s green concerns or that the north side from their understanding is not used. The library Trustees can provide accessible links on the website and print outs for the meetings.

Question  Are nimble renovations, major adaptive reuse, or tear down more green? Is keeping the building the same size more green? Of plan options 3 & 4 which is more green? How about leaving the building pretty much the same? Why is there so much emphasis on more windows if green goals are desired? How can you talk about net zero when you demolish one building to build another? In the effort to meet programmable needs can sustainability needs be met?

Answer- According to the presenters, because the architectural firm is now realizing just how important green building is to the community, they encourage us to join the building committee for a public meeting Tuesday February 5, 2019 to delve into these questions. The architectural firm announced that it had not realized just how concerned Gloucester was with green builds and as such brought on a consulting expert to join their team. Emphasis on green design was a huge concern two years ago during every public meeting.  There will be a meeting about the new building and green design Tuesday February 5, 2019. 5:30PM

Question- Does plan 3 have more parking? Can a parking lot be added to the North side? (“North” side is the space between Central Grammar and the library. The few people present said please preserve this green space corridor which is consistent public feedback.) How does designing for more cars line up with green concerns?

Answer – Maybe. “We need to study everything further; The plans are very preliminary.”  (Three guests expressed preserving the North side green space.)

Question: What is the size of the new plan?

Answer- 26,000 to 27,000 but again these plans are preliminary. They believe the plans are within what’s allowable, but “no matter municipal amendments overrides zoning.” *known as Municipal Dover amendments

Question: Do the plans require more staff? Do the plans require more janitors?

Answer: staffing will likely be the same operationally. A new building will cost less to run and may require less staff by design. (Wait– more staff has been requested and is there proof to support those claims. More building can cost more…)

Question-Does presentation of plans 3&4 mean that tearing down Monell is off the table?

Answer. No. This process will take 3 or 4 more years and we’ll work with the architectural firm through each option in detail. Furthermore the building committee and architects stressed that a renovation would most likely be more money so the options presented tonight may be a moot point. Approaches of adaptive reuse (like options 3 & 4 presented at this meeting) “may be significantly more money!”

Question- where are deliveries, storage, trash and behind the scenes work accounted for in the plans? (I’d add where are archives, digitization crowd source options, etc).

Answer – the plans aren’t granular at this stage.

Question-Is the feasibility study due in May or June?What exactly are we fundraising for if the plans aren’t decided? What will be the demonstration for donors?

Answer- We do have to begin fundraising. (A fundraising firm has been contracted.) The building is estimated to cost more than 30 million based on the timeline.

 

 

Further questions

Where has the art gone? Can we bring the art back?

How will Saunders House be integrated and featured?

Are there any women on the new building committee? Do any of the members have children under 18 years of age? under 14 years of age? Have any of them had experience with managing an architectural build of this scale, one that’s open to the public and boasts enviable assets including historical properties, archives and collections, green space, and specific security concerns?

Where has the emphasis on books and literacy gone? Have the Trustees, committees and architects seen Once Upon a Contest selections from Cape Ann Reads initiative? Cape Ann Reads was co-founded by Library Director Deborah Kelsey. It’s my understanding that the trustees are driving this new build.

The most frequented and photographed library spaces at the Boston Public Library and New York Public Library continue to be the classic reading rooms. Retired New England patriots player and new children’s book author and program developer Martellus Bennett was inspired by the classic wrap around library as depicted in Beauty in the Beast, and Harry Potter fans of all ages admire its enviable repository environs. Is there something to learn from the Cape Ann Museum proposal for a new building targeting one year and under 5 million? Can a design competition be opened up, requiring build out completion in less than two years and under 5 million? Can immediate expansion and attention to bathrooms, renovation and expansion of children’s services, new staff hires, and maximizing lovely Saunders happen ASAP? What are the possibilities for any beneath ground (or beneath parking lot) solutions or connections as with the underground walkway between the National Gallery buildings?

You can peruse the library new building plan options offered on the architect’s website (when the staircase was on the south side). The architect is keen on pillow seating options on a wide staircase (dated High Line-esque without any presentation spot or view).

Matt Oudens selling Gloucester build on his site now

old plans
first options, big statement building with big staircase with pillows

Since 2013 How much money has been spent

  • on marketing
  • on the Saunders House
  • on the main building
  • on the new building pursuit

 

 

Upcoming meetings: Sawyer Free Library new building plans

Monnell architect_Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library_Gloucester MA_20181128_104037 ©c ryan.jpg

photo caption: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free public library from Dale Avenue (beautiful Monnell and Saunders building)

UPCOMING MEETINGS

  • ON Monday Jan 28 there is Saunders House Committee meeting 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM LOCATION: Byers/Davidson Room according to the library’s calendar. Additionally, The Saunders House Stewardship Committee, meets at 10:30 am on the third Monday of every month; confirm locations on the day. January 2019 was moved to January 14th because it would have fallen on Martin Luther King day.

Saunders.jpg

  • ON Wed Jan 30 there is Library (new) Building Committee meeting 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Then monthly: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings–there was one scheduled at Dore & Whittier in December.

 

For your review – summary and scenes from the November 15, 2018 public meeting and recent headlines:

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (1).jpgphoto caption: Central Grammar apartments (left), City Hall (back), Sawyer Free library (right)

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (2)
photo caption: at the start of the 11/15/18 Library new building meeting – eight to ten tables set up, and mood boards on stands

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (4)
photo caption: Brad Dore introduces the design team November 2018 (eight including him) Matt Oudens raising hand in this photo presented his designs at the 2017 meeting

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (3)

Approximately fifty attendees –including the library board and staff plus eight consultants from the firm, Dore & Whittier Project Management and Architecture— convened on the main floor of Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library on November 15, 2018. Individuals from the Historical commission, Action Inc, Saunders House, Gloucester Green, a local middle school teacher, a Varian employee, library members and 3 teenagers were present.

I believe the light attendance was due to a feeling of repetition. The public meeting was billed as an opportunity to provide feedback to the library yet again. It turns out that the gathering was a required step in the next phase of the library building plans and as such was presented to be starting from square one. No matter how one tries to paint it, it’s not square one. “This is just a necessary step,” the consultants explained. “”It doesn’t matter.”

Since 2013, the library has facilitated and hired consultants to help with public forums related to the building and future plans. (Public and committee meetings, agendas, minutes, and strategic planning are requirements for grants and funding, not to mention big pursuits like new buildings or restoration). It is disconcerting that years of prior and extensive staff and public feedback are not aggregated and readied by the library board nor contracted consultants–especially as several in attendance were present at the January 11, 2017 meeting attended by 150+ that sent the building plans back to the drawing board.

contentious Jan 11 2017 meeting Sawyer Free.jpg
photo caption: Jan 11 2017 crowd  (paintings on view like the Lanes  since moved)

 

That contentious January 2017 meeting was preceded by the corporators* meeting two weeks prior where feedback recommended recording and sharing public comments for transparency and efficiency and many of the same concerns were expressed.

*I am a library corporator and can attest that project updates have not been shared (albeit annual meetings) Corporators are a devoted library audience and might help.

clerk recorder
photo caption: The official recorder for committee and municipal meetings in City Hall is a great model. 

 

In between the timing of that big 2017 meeting and this small 2018 one, the library pursued forums via ThinkGloucester facilitated by Gloucester Conversations for its strategic planning. At those forums, the library indicated that  results would be shared in the fall of 2018. I was not the only one expecting those results linked on the homepage and printed out for the November 15th meeting. They weren’t. Following the meeting, a board member kindly shared the findings: Sawyer Free Library thinkGloucester Project Report_final 2018

State funding support for library buildings is guided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners ( MBLC). In part because of the state’s toolkit funding process, the November 2018 meeting became a fresh start and first step, Phase 1. I was told that the architects and designers needed to hear feedback “first hand” which is reasonable until you establish that yes in fact most of them had been at that most well attended public meeting to date mentioned above (2017), and have been engaged by the library and worked with the library committees for years. Although that money is disassociated as part of the MBLC toolkit next phase, each purchase order (PO) for marketing/public relations (PR) and phases towards new building plans can affect the library’s bottom line, and take years.  When I find them, I will link to the library’s letter of intent, a list of costs for consulting to date (phases or not), building related work, marketing completed since 2013, and for the fine art removed.

In 2013 top concerns included new bathrooms, more staff, the Saunders building, art & archives, and the HVAC systems. Here we are six years later: I can say there has been no change in the bathrooms. The library needs more staff. Voices to preserve the John and Dorothy Rando memorial garden have arisen. The teenagers at the November meeting hoped for new lighting. Perhaps that’s an easy renovation. After six years, the library may have saved some money and developed outreach by conducting a local design competition, fixing the bathroom, and hiring staff. We may have move forward together to MBLC instead of what feels like a never ending “stage one”.

MBLC supports new builds that adhere to a best practice formula and adjusts as no two libraries or communities are exactly the same. For instance, specific additional square footage from a current footprint, varied “programmable” spaces, adequate parking and public input are guidelines. I would suggest that money be spent on clerks/recorders for the public meetings and the library should insist on that from their consultants (whether Dore &Whittier or not). I would hope that new input at every stage continues to be updated and evaluated. Why is the focus on “green” LEED not parsing the MBLC parking spaces requirements? The Boston Public Library did away with them–we should expect no less. Some rural or smaller communities may need larger library builds and new visions to create a statement cultural public gathering spot where there hasn’t been one. (Although I think that’s unlikely in MA.) Our extant library has a variety of gathering spaces. And Gloucester is blessed with an abundance of large, special public spaces that work in concert with the library. City Hall, Cape Ann Museum, Temple Ahavat Achim, the YMCA, and the Gloucester Meetinghouse UU Church are essentially library abutters and can pack hundreds.  The Legion, Rose Baker Senior Center and Maritime Gloucester are short blocks away. The library can move events to off-site locations when and if it’s mutually rewarding. Mostly it does OK in house. Gloucester’s population hovers 30,000 which is the same as it was at the time of the last expansion. Does our population require more space? According to sources in the paper and the meeting, the building plans remain many years out.  The Massachusetts funding model has decreased and according to the MBLC press release issued Nov 2018, “The longer a community goes without being able to start its project, the higher the construction costs will be.” At what point do the costs outweigh options like renting if building lifespans are warrantied to a few decades expectancy? If the process requires construction this costly, perhaps the state can reimburse communities more money, quicker, and/or develop other models?

You can read a range of reactions to the library’s November 15, 2018 meeting in an article by Ray Lamont in the Gloucester Daily Times: Sawyer Free Library plans still unclear,  November 19, 2018

Ray Lamont article above the fold_library building plans update_Gloucester Daily Times_20181120_©c ryan

 

And a follow up article Library debate: to raze or expand. Decisions needed before state funding kicks in, by Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times, November 29, 2018

Gloucester Daily Times Nov 29 2018 Library debate to raze or expand by Ray Lamont.jpg

 

Dore & Whittier was awarded the 197 million Newton North high school design and build, and multiple MBLC and MSBA contracts for the City of Gloucester. Here is a link to the complete project list published on their website (and photos below). You’ll need to go back and forth among the awarded category projects to separate work by town. (For instance, West Parish is listed but does not indicate “Gloucester” and the library work does not appear). The state sites don’t aggregate all phases either. The Massachusetts school PO status from March 2018 lists 3 awards: the East Gloucester Elementary School study, the GHS roof repair and the West Parish build.

 

 

 

at the back of Sawyer Free pano_20170129_©c ryan

 

The current website does not have a “button” or menu selection for new building plans. You can select from the calendar to see some of the meetings announced. You can select About to explore more about the board committees and some minutes and agendas. Some meetings are linked into the City of Gloucester calendar, too.

website Jan 21 2019.jpg

Round up of new library building coverage prior to November 2018: Continue reading “Upcoming meetings: Sawyer Free Library new building plans”