The Alfred Baumann Library has submitted its application for a New Jersey Construction Bond Grant. Should the Library be a recipient of the grant funds, it will receive a 1:1 dollar match on the construction cost of the project.
The Library has not had any major renovations or expansions in the 40 years it has been at its current location and is in dire need of updates, rehabilitation, barrier free improvements, and more space.
The Library administration, Board of Directors and Friends of the Library (FAB) have been working for the past few years to raise funds through various efforts. Substantial donations have been given by the Friends of the Library, the Woodland Park Business Association, the WP American Legion Post #238 Women’s Auxiliary, WP Soccer Association, and numerous residents.
Library Director Linda Hoffman expressed to the Mayor and Council at the March 4th Council meeting that the expansion, when done, will double the current space and provide everything that is needed to bring the Library into the 21st Century.
“This will bring our residents the Library that they deserve,” she said.
The demand for community space for programs and meetings is high at the Library, and without dedicated space for these purposes, it is not able to effectively meet the community’s needs with its current building. The building will also serve as a secondary disaster relief center where residents can use computers, charge their cell phones, or bring their family in to view a movie in a more familial setting. A generator is included in the design.
The Library expansion plan includes a community room that can be divided, conference room, quiet area, computer lab, STEM area, a teen room, expanded children’s room, a flex/lounge space where patrons can grab a cup of coffee meet with friends or discuss ideas and books. Additionally, there is an outdoor amphitheater in the plan.
Libraries are a valuable resource in the community, especially during economically challenging times. The Library provides public computers and high speed internet access that help to bridge the digital divide. Additionally, trained professionals provide training for job skills and resources for small businesses.
On Election Day 2017, voters approved the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act Public Question #1, which will allow the state to issue $125 million in bonds. Under this bill, for any approved project financed by bond proceeds, the grant award will provide a 1:1 dollar match on construction projects.