SUFFIELD’S TEMPORARY LIBRARY RELOCATES TO SENIOR CENTER IN 2017
Suffield, Conn. – The Town of Suffield plans to keep its library doors open, moving the facility to a new temporary location within the Suffield Senior Center at the beginning of 2017. Ongoing environmental issues associated with the renovation of Kent Memorial Library continue to push back the grand reopening. The library’s relocation from 61 Ffyler Place allows town offices to assume that space as town hall renovation progresses. First Selectman Melissa Mack notes, “While this solution is not ideal it will enable us to deliver services to residents, progress with projects and keep costs at a minimum.” Library staff will not be furloughed.
The town is in the midst of two major overhauls of important town buildings namely the Kent Memorial Library and Suffield Town Hall. The work necessitates interim space for the library and town offices including the town clerk, assessor, tax collector and registrar of voters. The original plan earmarked these town offices for the Ffyler location after completion of Kent Memorial Library. Delay of the library impacted schedules requiring alternate swing space. Possible sites for the town offices were dictated by state statutes for the safekeeping of records, access to fiber optics as well as ease of resident use. While many options were investigated, including moving town offices to the Senior Center, each fell short of regulatory/spatial needs or were cost prohibitive. In the end, Ffyler Place satisfied all requirements for town offices while resulting in the unfortunate consequence of relocating the library.
Utilizing the Senior Center presented its own challenges. The past rebuild incorporated grant money from the state which limits activities to senior related only. “We feel fortunate that the town was able to negotiate some flexibility with the state in regard to using the Senior Center temporarily for the interim library,” stated Mack, “we were able to take advantage of available space while not incurring additional rental or build-out expense.”
State requirements for the town offices include space greater than 1,000 square feet and within town borders, as well as a vault separate from the town clerk’s office and protected from fire, damage and theft. The town also looked to economically feasible options that kept offices together for continuity and convenience for residents.
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