The Town Trustees attended a Library building committee meeting last Tuesday evening and discussed several options. Jack Quirk, the committee chairperson, started with, “If anyone is here to save the library, this is the wrong meeting. This meeting is about what to do with the building, not the actual library and museum.” The town has no intention of closing the library or the museum. It’s the building that is in question. This building requires many major repairs, and there is no funding to do so.
There were about 20 people at the meeting. They actively asked questions about options and what-ifs. Quirk laid out several options, and the most popular was to create a Hennessey Historical Society that would raise the money needed to renovate and maintain the building. Some of the questions raised were what it would cost to renovate the structure completely and how capital fundraising work. Quirk said, “The cost of a complete, gut it to the walls is guesstimated at about 8 million. It would cost about the same to tear down the building and build a completely new modern building.” This cost is based on square footage and current construction costs per square foot. Finally, Quirk asked, “If there were a capital fundraising campaign, would anyone in this room donate?” Kelly Troyer was in the audience; he stood up and said, “I’ll donate my house. I have no one to leave it to, so I would be glad to help.”
The group decided to report to the Trustees that the consensus would be to start a Historical Society and help the town with fundraising. Quirk will make a presentation at the next Trustee’s meeting.