A workshop on a plan to expand the Scarborough Public Library will be held Jan. 6 Courtesy Scarborough Public Library

SCARBOROUGH — On Jan. 6, the public is invited to a workshop to discuss the Scarborough Public Library’s expansion project, which is expected to be ready for public vote in November.

Some are concerned that if this item and an item to pay for a new, consolidated elementary school are both on the November ballot, the library expansion might be voted down.

The expansion project, which has been in development since 2016, according to the library’s strategic plan, is meant to address size issues within the building and create a space that promotes learning, community and resources.

At the Dec. 19 School Board meeting, where community members were discussing the idea of consolidating Scarborough’s three primary schools, Jim Kupal, a member of the library’s board of trustees, invited the public to the meeting, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the library.

“I’m sure you recall that the project is next in the scheduled facilities master plan and it’s already been funded by the capital improvement program,” he said to the School Board. “Planning is well underway and the architects are already on site, so more details in January if you want to come, but in addition to supporting the schools, children and youth in the community, the library is also an important resource to seniors, businesses and families.”

Nancy Crowell, director of the library, said that the project is expected to be on the voter referendum in November.

“We’ve been working on that date for well over a year,” she said.

However, referencing the potential consolidated school vote, Crowell said that supporting two big ticket items on a referendum may be a challenge for voters and the library could lose out on voters approving funding for that project.

Jennie Moskowitz, a Scarborough resident and parent, said that the expansion project would be potentially beneficial for her children and maybe even the school system.

“I love the Scarborough library, and I think if there’s a way it can be thought about, in (the consolidated schools) plans, of how we can incorporate pre-K or K, after school or before school, or something,” she said. “Because there are a lot of kids who go to the library and love it. We get so much from it. I’m so appreciative of the library and the staff there are wonderful, top notch. I’d love to do more programming for little ones and it’s a great way to introduce them to Scarborough.”

“In addition to significant community engagement in the planning process and ballot measures, the library accepts responsibility to raise private support through a capital campaign,” says the library’s website. “This workshop is your opportunity to contribute to the conceptual plan for your library’s expansion.”

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