METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – The Marlborough Public Library Foundation is ramping up its efforts to raise $2 million to defray the cost of renovating and expanding the library, now that the state has awarded the city a construction grant.
Last week, the state Board of Library Commissioners awarded Marlborough $10.1 million g to help pay the estimated $24 million tab. Marlborough was placed on a waiting list for grant funding last year.
“When I read the announcement, frankly, I was in tears,” said Dan Verrico, chairman of the Capital Campaign Committee. “This has been on my wish list for 15 years.”
City councilors have until January to accept the grant and authorize funding the remainder of the project.
To offset some of the project’s cost, the foundation – which was formed in 2002 to support library programs and raise money for capital improvements – pledged to raise $2 million.
Foundation members have received donations and pledges from residents, business owners and others since the campaign was launched last year. Verrico declined to say how much has been raised thus far.
The Friends of the Marlborough Public Library recently donated funds made in memory of longtime President Ray Johnson to the campaign. Johnson – the organization’s president for more than four decades – died in November after a battle with cancer.
Verrico and foundation members are planning to increase their fundraising blitz now that the state has awarded the grant money. Foundation officials recently underwent training on how to seek donations.
“There’s no shortage of people to reach out to,” he said. “We will ramp it up.”
Verrico is hopeful to land a major donor.
“We need a couple of big hits,” he said. “We have a few of those asks out there.”
Verrico plans to hold various fundraising events, such as auctions and dinners.
He is optimistic the foundation will reach its goal.
Anyone interested in donating to the capital campaign is encouraged to contact Library Director Margaret Cardello at 508-624-6900.
The facility – built in the early 1900s and last renovated in 1969 – lacks room for meetings and quiet study. The auditorium is too small to house popular programs and the library lacks classrooms for tutoring and public workshops.
There is also a parking crunch at the West Main Street library. There are only 23 spaces at the Witherbee Street entrance. The City Council this winter approved purchasing two homes at 28 and 29 Witherbee St. that will be knocked down and used for additional parking.
Verrico lauded the council for making that commitment.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.