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Shoreham library project fully funded

HINESBURG — The town of Shoreham has netted a $50,000 Vermont Community Development grant that will round out funding for an ongoing expansion project on the town’s Platt Memorial Library.
The grant, announced at a press conference in Hinesburg on Tuesday, was one of seven totaling $2.1 million that went to towns around the state for projects within their borders. Funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The grants went to projects as diverse as the Center for Cartoon Studies in Hartford and the Champlain Housing Trust in Winooski.
Shoreham’s grant, like a $40,700 grant to Morristown, is specifically targeted to repairs that will increase library accessibility.
Phil Kivlin, a member of the Shoreham Building Committee, and Carol Causton of the library board were on hand to accept the grant, which Kivlin said is the last step in funding a major library repair project. In addition to an ongoing energy retrofit, the library will get a 1,600-square-foot addition, more than doubling the library’s size. Kivlin said the expansion project is on track to break ground in the fall.
“The addition will make the library bigger and better,” said Causton. “We’re very congested at the moment. The library hasn’t been added onto since 1906.”
Causton added that library membership and demand for the space grows every year, and that the 11,000 books don’t even fit in the current building, which is more than 100 years old. The new space, she said, will also allow for additional computers and a separate meeting space.
The $50,000 grant brings an end to a fund-raising process that lasted more than 10 years and, until this year’s town meeting, has been entirely funded by money from within the community, collected in novel ways — including homegrown dinners and a “risqué” calendar featuring community members.
Then, at town meeting in March, taxpayers committed $90,000 of insurance money that the town received following last year’s lightning fire that destroyed the Newton Academy.
The group raising money for the library also received a donation of $12,500 that had been left over from Newton Academy’s fund-raising. To date, the group has raised $462,000 toward the library repairs, and library board member Judy Stevens said the current project budget is $495,000, though it has not yet been put the project out for bid.
Causton said since Shoreham residents voted to transfer the Newton Academy funds to the library, they have united around the expansion project.
“Since town meeting, people are excited — they realize it’s actually going to happen,” she said.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].

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