Tinton Falls Library Receives NJ Grant To Reopen After The Mold Shuts

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TINTON FALLS – It is light at the end of the library form tunnel as the funding is finally in place to repair the damage and reopen “the little library that could,” as one trustee put it.

The books could be loaned out late next year as the district is currently working on the planning and construction schedule.

“Since we closed four years ago, there has been a gap that has not been closed. There’s nowhere else in town like it, ”said Alison DeVito, trustee of the Tinton Falls Library Association.

Nobody has borrowed a book from the library since August 2017, when a “poisonous mold” was discovered in the trailer – an addition to the main library structure, which is a building from 1943. At the time of closure, the library had 4,900 library card holders.

The notice board at Tinton Falls Library, seen here on December 13, 2021, thanks residents for supporting the library in its efforts to reopen after it closed in 2017 for mold.

The trailer has been cordoned off and will be removed as part of the planned renovation of the building. The remainder of the current plan includes removing the existing mold, upgrading the HVAC and electrical systems, and making various structural improvements, said District Administrator Thomas Fallon.

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“I expect this project will be advertised in the spring of 2022. The library reopening will be based on the construction schedule, optimistic by the end of 2022,” he said.

An estimate by the district planner put the cost of this work at $ 382,000, despite the pre-COVID-19 world when construction materials were not affected by shortages.

In 2020, the district applied for a $ 200,000 grant for the first round of a New Jersey Library Construction Act, but it was rejected. That year was a different story and the library received a matching grant of $ 217,000.

The Tinton Falls Library, seen here on December 13, 2021, has been closed for mold since 2017.

Fallon said the district provided $ 150,000 in matching funds in the 2021 budget and the remainder of the $ 67,500 matching funds to be provided by the Tinton Falls Library, which was raised through fundraising efforts.

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These events included the children’s fashion show and music festivals and served to maintain public interest in the library.

A lawn sign for a Tinton Falls Library fundraiser this summer is hidden in a railing by the library entrance on December 13, 2021.  The library has been closed because of mold since 2017.

“I have to say there were a lot of people who continued to support the library and nothing stopped us from reopening. It was closed for far too long, ”said curator Ellen Goldberg.

When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel isn’t covering the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he’s a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]


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