This images shows a proposed rearward expansion of Prince Memorial Library that would double the size of the Cumberland building. Main Street runs to the right. Included in that expansion is the town’s historical society, an 1853 former schoolhouse at far left that is due in October to be relocated to the library site. Courtesy Scott Simons Architects

CUMBERLAND — The Prince Memorial Library may soon have a new neighbor.

The former 1853 schoolhouse, home to the Cumberland Historical Society, will relocate sometime between Oct. 15-22, Town Manager Bill Shane said Aug. 29.

The 4 Blanchard Road building will be moved 0.2 miles toward the rear of the library, placed on a new foundation on those 266 Main St. grounds and ultimately be incorporated into a future expansion of Prince Memorial.

Several weeks of work will follow the move, such as construction of stairwells between the 166-year-old building and its new basement. An asphalt walkway will span the approximately 200 feet from there to the library.

The Cumberland Historical Society operates in an 1853 former schoolhouse at 4 Blanchard Road. File

Both the historical society and library are sorely in need of greater space, said Austin Smith and Kayla Caron of Scott Simons Architects, who gave a presentation on the project to the Town Council Aug. 26. The panel hired the Portland firm’s services in June.

“It was determined (that the society is) severely lacking storage space, which impacts their ability to set up … and curate exhibits,” Caron said. The basement will provide protected storage, and a new hallway between the former schoolhouse and the library’s future new entrance is to offer ample gallery space.

It will cost $40,000 to move the building, to be paid for through funds the town reserved for the project.

There are also plans in the coming years to conduct repairs, including roof work, to the 1,100 square-foot building. Cost estimates for those improvements were not yet available.

Once the complete, the library will have grown to about 22,000 square fee – double the size of the current library.

The expansion would include a 2,250-square-foot meeting room that could hold up to 200 people – including partitions to divide the space into three sections – a warming kitchen, new restrooms, a section devoted to a children’s library and its staff, and a story area. The new facility would have three entrances; to the east near the Prince Room, at the center of the structure near the children’s section, and to the west by the historical society.

The building was designed for its various uses to operate separately, Smith said.

“After hours, the historical society, the meeting room and the library can all operate independent of one another,” he said. “You don’t have to have the whole facility open.”

A large courtyard space would sit to the south western part of the structure.

Although the architects outlined an area for parking expansion, “we didn’t put a number on that, because we would like to investigate it further and determine exactly how many parking spaces are required, and that will come at the later stages of design,” Smith said.

In that vein, the sizes of the various spaces are still “amorphous,” Caron noted.

“As we move forward into Phase 2 in the future, all of these things are still up for discussion,” she said. “This is just simply a snapshot of where we are right now.”

The architecture proposed in the designs “just says hello to me,” Councilor George Turner said. “It’s a welcoming-looking design.”

Comments are not available on this story.