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.
âSince we closed four years ago, there has been a gap that has not been closed. There’s nowhere else in town like it, âsaid 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 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.
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.
These events included the children’s fashion show and music festivals and served to maintain public interest in the library.
âI 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, âsaid 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]