The van Beuren Charitable Foundation awarded the Tiverton Library Foundation a $250,000 grant this week for the children’s wing of the new library, which will be located at Bliss Four Corners. The foundation is a Rhode Island-based grantmaking organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the unique characteristics of Newport County and improving the quality of life for its residents.
“We are so grateful to Van Beuren,” Children’s Librarian Janet Kosinski Linhares said. “The new children’s wing will provide an open, flexible space essential for programs that will enhance children’s literacy skills, provide valuable experiences and create lifelong learners. Children who experience our 21st-century children’s library will take their knowledge, skills and excitement well past our library walls, into our community and beyond.”
With the van Beuren contribution, almost $3.3 million has been raised from grants, pledges and donations. The Tiverton Library Building Committee has set a fundraising goal of $4.6 million from nonpublic sources for the project. Committee Chairman Lee Hoyer said the library committee plans to break ground in late 2012, with a tentative move-in date of mid-2014.
“We are working with architect Union Studios on development plans,” Hoyer said. “That will take up most of 2012.”
In November, voters approved a $7 million bond for the 23,886-square-foot facility. The Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services is contributing $4 million toward the $11.6 million project, but Tiverton was required to include that total in its bond request.
The new library will allow children and adults to access information both on-site and remotely; use multimedia and global video conferencing equipment; obtain literacy or homework assistance; and have business, social and organizational meetings.
The facility will replace the Essex Public Library, which was built in 1939. The current library, on Highland Road, has limited parking, an outdated septic system and restrooms located only on the main floor. Fire codes allow no more than 30 people in the building at any time for a town with more than 15,000 residents.