The current library building, to the left and shaded pink in this rendering, will become the adult section. A new atrium, yellow, will lead to the new youth section, light green and dark green. Contributed / Simon Architects

SCARBOROUGH – Scarborough Town Councilors had their first reading on the order authorizing issuance of up to $12,938,995 in bonds to fund the cost of a renovation, expansion and equipping the Scarborough Public Library.

On Aug 18., the Town Council reviewed a draft of the ballot language for the Library Expansion and voted 6-1 to proceed to a second reading and final vote at their meeting on Sept 7.

According to the town agenda the ballot language will ask residents to vote for an: “order authorizing renovation, expansion and equipping of Scarborough Public Library, authorizing issuance of up to $12,938,995 in general obligation bonds of the town of Scarborough and appropriating the bond proceeds for the project.”

Voters will be asked to approve a bond not to exceed $13 million; the remaining money for the project would be raised through private funding.

According to Town Council Chair John Cloutier, “fundraising efforts have far surpassed initial expectations, which is encouraging.”

“If the full $13M is required to be funded from Scarborough taxpayers, about $35 of the typical homeowners tax bill will go towards supporting the project (less than 1 percent),” said Cloutier. “I’m excited to see this much needed project become a reality.”


If the bond referendum passes in November, the library would move into a temporary space during construction, and construction would begin in fall 2023.

The Scarborough Public Library library director and board of trustees have been meeting with the Scarborough Town Council members over the past couple of months to keep everyone up to date with the project.

At their July 20 meeting, Library Director Nancy Crowell and board of trustees members answered many of the councilors questions regarding operating expenses as well as building planning updates, building design costs, private funding updates, community involvement and more.

“Last week’s library update of the Town Council was very positive,” Donovan said. “The council has been a strong supporter of the library’s efforts to develop a responsible expansion plan. That support has helped tremendously in promoting our fundraising campaign which is now projected to raise upwards of three million dollars, reducing bond costs to $13 million. No Scarborough public initiative has even approached this level of private support.”

Plans to expand the library have been in the works for over 15 years, Crowell said previously. The library is looking to accommodate Scarborough’s growing community which means more space and new services, she said.

The expansion would allow the library to have more reading nooks, meeting rooms, an upgraded computer lab, activity space for young people and seniors, plus much more.

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