Library Board To Buy School District Land For New Branch

Township library director January Adams, right, speaks to the Board of Education while Board of Trustee member Nicholas Ciampa looks on.

The Board of Education February 27 approved the sale of a parcel of land near Franklin Park School to the Franklin Township Library Board, for the use of a new library branch.

The planned 5,000-square-foot building will replace the rented space the library now uses in Franklin Towne Center, on Route 27.

The Library Board will pay $240,000 for the land.

The new building is needed, library director January Adams told the school board, because they are running out of space in the 2,800-square-foot rented location.

In 2012, when the shopping center space was rented, it was staffed by a reference librarian, a support staffer and four part-timers, she said. There were 138 cardholders who used the library branch that day, that has increased to 4,058 in the ensuing eight years.

“We quickly started to outgrow this space,” she said.

The rental “is costing the library board thousands of dollars a month in taxes and rent,” Adams said. “The library’s HVAC is failing. The antiquated building does not lend itself to technological advances.”

The new building, she said, will be built to accommodate a library.

“The money we save from this move will be used to increase services and materials,” she told the board. “The new location will allow the library and school system to work more closely than we do now. We believe it will be a great benefit to Franklin.”

Mayor Phil Kramer, also a member of the library Board of Trustees, urged the school board to approve the sale.

Kramer said the sale would be another example of the different governmental bodies in Franklin working together and sharing resources.

“Now we have three bodies of government sharing together, pooling their money, not saying this is my money, it’s the peoples’ money, now they’re sharing that money for the greater good,” he said.

Adams said the trustee board has been saving money for many years to build the new branch.

Adams said construction could begin early next year.

A third branch of the library is expected to be included in the new youth center, under construction on Lewis Street.

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