The Hennessey Library committee met last Friday, October 7th to review the architect’s feasibility study findings. Jack Quirk said, “I visited with the architect and he said although the basic structure is sound, it is a fragile building.” The study outlined that the roof is due to be replaced, and the heating and air systems are undersized. The plumbing and electrical systems need updating and replacement. Mold was found in the basement and due to the age of the building, there is probably asbestos. The report noted several ADA building and parking issues.
After going over the report, Quirk told the group that we should look into transferring ownership to The Friends of the Library or creating a historical society for Hennessey. Committee member Ann Taylor said, “We have trouble running the pumpkin patch. There is no way we can support the entire building.” Quirk said, “Running a capital campaign is different from just an average fundraiser.”
The town cannot afford to keep this building up and the repairs and updates will be expensive. Town Administrator Tiffany Tillman said, “Sometimes towns get into situations that are not a good fit. The town’s job is to supply water, sewer, and roads. This is an example of that.”
The plan discussed was to create a historical society and deed the building to them. In this scenario, the town would still own and fund the library contents but would pay rent to the organization that would own the building. This hopefully opens doors to grants and monetary giving that would not be possible if the town owned the building.
Quirk said, “There are several other buildings in the town that would be a good fit for a historical society. The Sinclair Station and a few others that Richard Simunek owns could also be considered.”
The committee agreed to get as many interested people as possible to the next meeting on Tuesday, November 29th to see if there is any interest in forming a historical society. The meeting will be held at 7 pm at the library.