Wayland Public Library announces update on relocation initiative


Credit: Elena Erdekian

Above is the Wayland Free Public Library (WFPL). The library trustees are beginning migration to a new home for Wayland’s books depending on approval from a town meeting. “We can offer a greater space for teens, more space for community events, a large extensive area for private study, a fully functional children’s room, and a building that is ADA [American with Disabilities Act] compliant,” WFPL Director Dana Mastroianni said.

Charlie Moore and Nathan Zhao

Wayland residents and library trustees have spoken about a relocation of Wayland’s Free Public Library for years, and the library’s Board of Trustees are taking the first steps toward moving to a bigger, more expansive building.

In January of 2015, the trustees formed a library planning committee, created to evaluate the library space needs and to take into consideration whether or not to apply for a construction grant. That November at a town meeting, $150,000 was appropriated to fund the study and examine the feasibility of renovating the current library or looking at a new site.

Trustees evaluated the sites and chose a location near Wayland Middle School at 195 Main Street.

“The trustees have gone forward and compiled an application,” Library Director Dana Mastroianni said.

Mastroianni explained that the process of applications for grants and allocations of funds is long and can take multiple years.

The investigation concluded that the best course of action was to relocate to the Main Street property. The town of Wayland then gave the Library Planning Committee until January 2017 to turn in an application for a state construction grant. In April, the LPC will pitch the project at Wayland’s annual town meeting, where voters will decide whether to request the grant from the state government.

“We’re not asking the town for money,” Mastronianni said. “At this time, we’re just asking them for permission for us to submit it and to be considered for a grant.”

According to Mastronianni, there are three possibilities moving forward: The state will either approve the grant right away, put the Wayland library on a waitlist, or award the grant for future use.

“If we are rewarded a grant right away, we will then go back to town meeting in April 2018 to ask for funding from the town for its portion of the grant,” Mastronianni said. “It’s a very involved process.”

If both the Massachusetts state government and Wayland town meeting voters approve the grant application, the town will pay for nearly half of the relocation effort.

“We have some preliminary documents that tell us what the cost will be,” Mastronianni said. “The town will receive about 40 percent of what they call eligible cost as part of the grant.”

Finalized and official prices and costs will be released upon approval from town and state governments.

Though the official initiative to renovate or move Wayland’s library only began in late 2015, Wayland town officials and residents have discussed it since long before then.

“[This idea] been bandied about for a number of years,” Mastroianni said. “The flood [In 2010] certainly created a hardship for the library and really underscored the need to address the issues with the building.”

Mastronianni explained that part of the recent feasibility investigation looked at the Main Street site as well as two other sites, and that the town hired an outside consultant to address the subject.

“Because there is no place for expansion [in the present-day location of the library], we would not be able to put the building that is required for us on this site,” Mastronianni said. “That is why we had to look elsewhere in town.”

Some Wayland residents have pushed to either keep the library where it is or to upgrade it to a location other than the Main Street site. However, many agree that this initiative, while costly, will bring many new resources the current library can’t offer.

“My hope is to provide the best resource for the town: A new location where we can offer a greater space for teens, have more space for community events, a large extensive area for private study, a fully functional children’s room,” Mastronianni said. “We can also offer a building that is [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant.”

“We don’t know what’s going to happen to the current library. The town will be evaluating that and will make a decision as to what the best use of the building will be,” Mastroianni said.

The town of Wayland will announce details on the new library in July 2017.