UPDATE: OUR NEW PUBLIC LIBRARY IS GETTING CLOSER
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!
Great news! After much work and many discussions the Planning Board has recommended our new library site plan. The final step will be a presentation to the Township Committee on November 14 or 28. Please come to the meeting and support our plan.
The process began last spring when the Library Board went to the Planning Board and Township Committee to seek approval for the conceptual library site plan at the end of Park Place West. This plan included the proposed location of the building, adjacent municipal parking lot and sidewalks.
Using the Planning Board and Township Committee feedback, engineers were hired to provide a detailed site plan. On September 15 the Library Board appeared before the Planning Board for final review.
Fifty-two Cranbury residents also attended this meeting. The residents spoke of their enthusiastic support for the library project overall. Concerns were raised, however, about preserving the vista at the end of Park Place West. They pointed out that the Master Plan advocates for the continued protection of scenic vistas and the proposed location of the library and parking lot compromised this objective.
All parties acknowledged the partial loss of the vista so the Planning Board decided to delay final recommendations on the site plan until the interested parties could meet and review the plan together.
On Monday, October 3rd, the Library Board invited community members to a meeting in the Gambino Room to talk about the site plan and find a solution agreeable to everyone. Different plans were proposed and discussed. By the end of the evening the group had come up with a design that everyone liked!
The Library Board returned to the Planning Board on October 20. The new site plan was presented. Happily it met everyone’s approval and the Planning Board unanimously voted to recommend the site design. All present applauded!
Now it’s back to the Township Committee. Check the agendas for the exact date of the meeting. Please attend or talk to a committee member. This is your chance to voice your opinion on the new library and site design.
On Monday, October 3rd at 7:00 p.m. the Library Board invites interested community members to a meeting in the Gambino Room to discuss the site plan for the new library and community center.
The architect’s drawings of the new library building have been completed for many months. Last spring the Library Board went to the Planning Board and Township Committee to seek approval for the conceptual site plan at the end of Park Place West. This plan included the proposed location of the building, adjacent municipal parking lot and sidewalks.
Using the Planning Board and Township Committee feedback, engineers were hired to provide a detailed site plan. On September 15 the Library Board appeared before the Planning Board for final review. Township professionals, including the Board planner, engineer and traffic consultant, had already reviewed the site plan and presented written feedback. Since this was the final Planning Board review on the site plan, all residents within a certain radius were notified per official/legal requirements. Fifty two Cranbury residents attended the Planning Board meeting. The residents spoke of their enthusiastic support for the library project overall. They did raise concerns, however, about preserving the vista at the end of Park Place West. They pointed out that the Master Plan advocates for the continued protection of scenic vistas and the proposed location of the library, parking lot and planned landscaping compromised this objective.
There was significant acknowledgement from all parties of the partial loss of the scenic vista. The Planning Board agreed to delay final recommendations on the site plan until further engineering analysis can be completed. They will re-visit this issue at the October 20th Planning Board meeting.
In June the Library Foundation mailed an update to all Cranbury households about our new Cranbury Library/ Community Center. Since then engineers have begun a topographic survey and storm-water infiltration evaluation as part of the preliminary and final site plan. The site plan includes grading, utility, landscape, and lighting plans for the new library and adjacent municipal parking lot. The project will go out to bid soon! We are anxious to get the actual dollar amount of the building. You can be sure I will keep you and our many donors informed of the progress.
Speaking of donors, we have had a great response to our spring mailing – both of new and previous donors. But the Foundation is not sitting back. Foundation members are going door to door to make sure residents understand our project and its importance to the community. We also started a postcard campaign to the Township Committee. We want them to see the large number of residents that support building a new library.
Many of you may have already joined the postcard campaign. If so, thank you for your vote of support. If not, postcards are available in the library. Please join us in letting the Township know how important the library is to Cranbury. Postcards may be turned in at the library or mailed directly to the township.
If you happen to be walking at the end of Park Place West you may see the little red flags marking the gas line across the Township property. That’s because next week engineers will begin a topographic survey and storm-water infiltration evaluation as part of the preliminary and final site plan for the new library! The site plan will include grading, utility, landscape, and lighting plans for the new library and adjacent municipal parking lot.