Community Walk of Knowledge Brick Program Update

Brick and rendering 022117

Buy a brick and help finish the project!  To order a brick, you can download the form  and mail it, along with your check, to the library.  Or visit the brick donor website: 

We are on track to have a new library in 2017

After five years of fundraising and planning, the end is in sight!  The combined library and community center design is complete and is going out for bid in March. While the bidding and contracting process is underway, the Cranbury Library Foundation is raising the final $190,000 that they estimate will cover the new building construction. This final fundraising phase of the project is the Community Walk of Knowledge.

Since last fall, we have achieved some key milestones:

  • Architecture design is completed.  Architecture firm Arcari+Iovino, a NJ-based firm that specializes in libraries, has completed the final design of the combined library/community center.
  • Planning Board approved the Site Plan at the end of Park Place West.  With feedback from local neighbors, the site was plan was changed in October to better integrate the building and parking lot into the 14-acre Wright Property preserved space.
  • Cranbury Township Committee agreed to build the adjacent municipal parking lot and required rainwater detention system.  They have included $475,000 into the 2017 capital budget.  The adjacent parking lot will also support the downtown business area.
  • Detailed building construction plans are ready to go out to final bid.  Based on the revised site plan, the final detailed construction plans are being completed with the intention to go out to bid in March.  The bid cycle is 30 days, after which the bids will be opened at a public meeting.
  • Furniture for new space donated.  Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is renovating a wing of their Lawrenceville facility and donated 100 chairs, as well as bookshelves, tables, conference room furniture and filing cabinets for the new library building.  The value is estimated at over $50,000 and will allow the new building to open and be functional from Day 1.

Now we have to raise $190,000 to break ground!   To do this, our final phase is the Community Walk of Knowledge Brick Program.

Three Donor Recongnition Levels

There are three levels of donor recognition:

  • Donations totaling $10,000 or more qualify as named gifts for rooms and collections in the new library
  • Donations totaling $5,000 or more will be recognized on the Leadership Donor wall in the gallery of the new library / community center building
  • Donations of $1000 during this final “champion” phase will qualify for the Community Walk of Knowledge Brick Program (see below).  There is also a half-size brick available for $500.

“The Community Walk of Knowledge is the outdoor plaza where the new building opens onto the 14-acre open space that the township has preserved for a town square and recreational area,” explained Michael Ferrante, president of the Cranbury Library Foundation.   “This area will include a patio featuring engraved bricks recognizing donors from this final phase.  Cranbury residents and businesses can buy a brick and be a “champion” to help finish the project.  We want this to be a library and community center for all Cranbury residents.”

To participate in the Community Walk of Knowledge program, residents and businesses can purchase a “champion” brick (8” X 8”) for $1000 and select up to six lines of text, to recognize their family, honor a loved one, or include their favorite quote.  A “citizen” brick (4” X 8”) is also available for $500 and has space for up to three lines of text. The library foundation has partnered with Bricks R Us, a company that helps with brick fundraising programs around the country.  To order a brick visit the brick donor website or  download the form  and mail it, along with your check, to the library.

To increase your donation to a Leadership Donor or qualify for a named gift, please contact Marilynn Mullen at 655-0555 or Michael Ferrante at 655-3465.


Early March Update

Michael Ferrante, Foundation President, stopped by the Township Committee meeting on March 13 during the Public Comment agenda item and provided a brief update to Mayor Cook and the other members of the committee since the December update:

  • The donation of the new library furniture went as planned, with moving services and storage services also being donated — a huge win for the new library and show of support for the project.
  • The funding gap has reduced to $205,000, with outstanding pledges reducing dramatically to $160,000 from 16 donors.
  • The project will go out for bid in the new few weeks as the site and building plans are aligned and the bid is prepared.
  • The final phase of the capital campaign is the “Community Walk of Knowledge” brick program, where an outdoor space will be integrated into the “town green” concept endorsed by the Parks Commission.

No decisions were requested of or made by the Township Committee.

Local Businesses Support New Library Project

Three local businesses have helped to move the Cranbury Library project closer to the finish line.  Bristol-Myers Squibb is renovating part of its Lawrenceville campus and is donating furniture to the Cranbury Library Foundation as it vacates one of the buildings.  One hundred chairs, 75 bookshelves, as well as tables, desks and filing cabinets, will all be put to good use in the new library building.  The current schedule is to break ground for the new library this spring and complete the construction by year-end.

In addition to the furniture donation by Bristol-Myers Squibb, other local businesses have pitched in to maximize the benefit of this contribution.  Princeton Van Service, a locally-owned moving company based in Princeton, donated their moving services to relocate the furniture from Lawrenceville to the temporary Cranbury location until construction is completed.  “We have been dedicated to serving the area for over 40 years, and glad to lend a hand as Cranbury builds a free-standing library. Libraries are of valuable importance to our community, socially and economically,” explained Louis DeCibus, the owner of Princeton Van Service. 

Until the new library building is completed, the furniture will be temporarily stored in a space also being donated to the Library Foundation.  Matrix Development Group owns and operates many of the warehouses on the east side of Cranbury and has agreed to store the furniture until move-in day.  “We are proud to be a part of the Cranbury community and are pleased that we could help out with this important project for the town,” said Thomas McCloskey, property manager for the Matrix Development Group.

“The new library and community center is coming together with the support of so many people and companies,” explained Michael Ferrante, president of the Cranbury Library Foundation, which is charged with raising the $2.75 million required for the new building. “Over 650 local residents and businesses have donated to the project, and we’ve raised over $2.5 million as of December 31.”  Once the funds are raised, the project will go out to bid, targeting a groundbreaking in late spring.

Princeton Van Service movers from left to right: Joseph Mulrine, Christopher Buzzelli, Joseph Williams
Princeton Van Service movers from left to right: Joseph Mulrine, Christopher Buzzelli, Joseph Williams

Gap drops below $250,000!

I’m very excited. After years of planning and fundraising the new library and community center is very close to having enough funds to go out to bid and then break ground in 2017!  All we have to do is close the $235,000 remaining gap!
If that sounds like a lofty goal I’m happy to tell you we are well on the way.  Since we started our fall campaign with a mailing to each resident in town – just days ago – we have received donations totaling over $289,000 plus a $100,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! 
Several leadership donors have banded together to challenge everyone in Cranbury to become part of this community project. These donors will match new donations one-for-one up to $100,000!  If you donate before the end of the year, your donation will be doubled and the Foundation will meet it’s 2016 fundraising goal.  Then we can break ground in 2017!
As a donor you will become part of this exciting  project that will benefit all of Cranbury for years to come. If you haven’t  already donated to our Close the Gap campaign please do so now!  You can find information on how to donate at
Thank you for helping to make the new library and community center a reality.
Marilynn Mullen
P.S.  Please share news of the CHALLENGE GRANT with friends and neighbors.  Now is the time to invite all of Cranbury to support the new library and community center with a donation!

Help us Close the Gap!

We need your financial support NOW to CLOSE THE GAP in 2016!




Once completed, the library will operate with no net increase to taxpayers:

  • The 1% of property taxes that is allocated to operate the library is mandated by state and federal law and has been adequate to operate the library in the past.
  • Independent assessments have confirmed that operating the new building will cost equal to (or less than) the usage fee currently paid to Cranbury School.
  • No additional library staff are required to operate the new facility.

Cranbury needs a library and community center to anchor the downtown area:

  • Sharing a space with the school library no longer meets the public needs of our community.
  • Cranbury needs a freestanding public library that can serve as the “community living room,” safe learning space, and technology center for the town (plus, space for books and e-books!).
  • The new library will have sufficient space for adults, children, and teens to work, relax, gather, and enjoy programming in a comfortable environment, during both daytime and evening hours.

Cranbury School deserves a dedicated school library:

  • The Cranbury Education Foundation is planning to support reconfiguration of the current library space to become a multi-media center for the school that can provide unconstrained access for students to develop research skills critical to 21st-century public education.

PLEASE HELP US CLOSE THE GAP in 2016 and break ground in 2017!