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Orono Public Library Foundation

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Volunteer spotlight

Capital Campaign Committee

Posted on February 25 2016


When the winter winds are blowing and the green of the world is blanketed in snow, everyone knows that it’s time to daydream of spring. For many, that means that the seed catalogues are regular reading and gardens are already sprouting in the midwinter imaginations of many Orono residents.

Well, there are some who have been dreaming of a very special garden for a long time -- the members of the Orono Village Green Capital Campaign Committee.

Fern Graphic

Of course, this garden is a little larger than average, and includes a large lawn, hundreds of ornamental plantings, pathways and benches, a stone plaza and pergola, and 125-seat amphitheater to be used as a 3-season, outdoor gathering space for the Town of Orono. That makes it much more than a garden for plants, rather it is an outdoor gathering space to cultivate community in Orono.

The dream of an outdoor community space was first considered in 2010, a year after the Orono Public Library had settled into its new home on Pine Street. Two years later, Sarah Kenney, Brian Rahill, Murray Bain, Deta Pierce, Claire McDonough, Jim Bulteel, Valerie Levy, Jenny Shemwell, Pauline Rock, and Dave Cloutier launched the campaign to raise funds for the Orono Village Green. It was in May 2014, amid the first blossoms of Orono’s many gardens, that the town was enraptured by the beautiful design created by landscape architect Steve Ribble and the public phase of the Orono Village Green began.

With the generous support of the Orono community and many organizations, the Campaign for the Orono Village Green had a successful close on August 31, 2015, having raised over $345,000 from private funds to fund the construction and maintenance of the Orono Village Green.

Capital Campaign Committee -- Orono Village Green"We are also very thankful that we had such a great group of volunteers on the Capital Campaign Committee to help spread awareness of the Orono Village Green project and invite the participation of the community. Each person on the Capital Campaign Committee used their own special talents to help this project continue to move forward. There is no way it would be been accomplished without such a dedicated group of volunteers” said Foundation Board Vice President, Brian Rahill.

Rahill praised the work done by the Committee for the past several years. "It was through the tireless work of the entire committee that we were able to raise the funds for the Orono Village Green. It took many evening planning sessions, public events, and lots of individual meetings with generous donors to raise the funds. The entire Capital Campaign Committee was committed to enhancing the community of Orono and they devoted their energy and passion to this project.”

The town of Orono will be forever grateful for their work.

The project will be put out to bid this spring, with construction anticipated throughout the summer.  Plantings will be placed in the fall. The Orono Village Green will be completed in the spring of 2017. 

We’re grateful for the persistent dreaming and unwavering support of the Capital Campaign Committee and are looking forward to summer when we get to watch our Orono Village Green garden begin to grow! 

General News

Library Foundation receives matching gift from The First

Posted on June 15 2016

Orono Public Library Foundation officials received the final installment on a $15,000 matching gift from The First for Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green. The First matched new gifts to the campaign dollar-for-dollar, up to $15,000. Their gift will be used to name the holiday tree on the Orono Village Green.

“We are deep ly grateful to The First for their generous matching support ,” Foundation President and Campaign Co-Chair Sarah Kenney said. “Their generosity, along with hundreds of other donors, has made the Orono Village Green a reality,” Kenney added.

Work began on the Orono Village Green site directly behind the library earlier in June. Sargent Corporation of Stillwater, ME is the contractor. The Orono Village Green will feature a 125-seat amphitheater and stage, lawn and granite seating, hundreds of ornamental trees, flowers and plantings, a stone plaza with tables, chairs and sun shade, an overlook area, pergola and bench seating areas. There will also be pathways circling the grounds connecting to the Orono Senior Center and leading to the village.

Funds for the Orono Village Green campaign were raised privately and have been gifted to the Town of Orono.

The library and grounds are property of the town, and all aspects of the construction project are being managed by town staff. Contributions were received from 375 donors to the Orono Village Green campaign.

The First has been serving the financial needs of Maine people since 1864, with banking and investment management offices in 15 communities along the coast and in Bangor. For more information about The First, please call 1-800-564-3195 or visit www.thefirst.com .


The First Contribution

Gathered in the Bangor office of The First to present their matching gift to the Orono Village Green campaign: (Left to right) Geoff Gordon, Foundation Treasurer, Sarah Kenney, Foundation President and Campaign Co-Chair; Courtney Brehaut, The First Vice President, Regional Manager for Bangor and Hancock County offices; and Kristen McAlpine, Branch Manager of the Bangor office. 

 

Village Green Groundbreaking!

Posted on May 31 2016

Library Foundation to Break Ground for Orono Village Green

Orono Village Green a gift to the Town of Orono

The Orono Public Library Foundation will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking Thurs. June 9 at 11:35 a.m. for the Orono Village Green, according to capital campaign co-chairs Sarah Kenney and Brian Rahill. Donors to project as well as the public are invited to the groundbreaking ceremony, to take place on the front lawn of the Orono Public Library. Sargent Corporation of Stillwater is the contractor for the Orono Village Green.

Donors to Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green contributed $345,000 to support the project to transform the area directly behind the Orono Public Library into the Orono Village Green – a gift from the Orono Public Library Foundation to the Town of Orono. The Foundation has provided the funds to the town, and the town is overseeing the project.

During construction of the Orono Village Green, the area directly behind the library will be closed to the public, according to Library Director Laurie Carpenter. The Summer Concert series will be held at Webster Park.

In announcing the groundbreaking, Kenney and Rahill, President and Vice President respectively of the Orono Public Library Foundation said, “We extend our deep appreciation from the Foundation’s board and capital campaign committee to the 375 donors – individuals, families, foundations, businesses and service organizations that have contributed to make the Orono Village Green a reality.”

 

Library Foundation Receives $25,000 Gift for Orono Village Green

Posted on August 24 2015

It’s official. Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green will close on August 31, 2015 thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, according to co-chairs Sarah Kenney and Brian Rahill.


“The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Orono Green Village campaign, ensuring that the goal of raising $31,000 in the 31 days of August will be achieved,” Kenney said.


The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to the Orono Public Library building campaign in 2007.


“We are profoundly grateful for the Foundation’s generous support,” said Rahill, "which truly brings us one step away from the finish line, and means that construction on the Orono Village Green will begin next spring.”


“The campaign is now just $1,858 from the goal of $345,000,” Kenney added.


When complete, this project will transform the area directly behind the Orono Public Library into the Orono Village Green – a gift from the Orono Public Library Foundation to the Town of Orono. The Foundation will direct the funds to the town, and the town will oversee the project. Construction is expected to start in 2016.


In making the announcement, Kenney and Rahill, President and Vice President respectively of the Orono Public Library Foundation, extended deep appreciation from the Foundation’s board and capital campaign committee to 365 donors – individuals, families, foundations, businesses and service organizations that have contributed nearly $345,000 to make the Orono Village Green a reality, a gift to the Town of Orono.


The Orono Village Green will feature a 125-seat amphitheater and stage, an ADA accessible ramp, lawn and granite seating, hundreds of ornamental trees, flowers and plantings, a stone plaza with tables, chairs and sun shade, an overlook area, pergola and bench seating areas. There will also be pathways circling the grounds connecting to the Orono Senior Center and leading to the village.

Library Foundation receives matching gift from The First

Posted on May 15 2015

$15,000 Matching gift from The FirstOrono Public Library Foundation officials announced that they have received a $15,000 matching gift from The First for Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green. The First will match new gifts to the campaign dollar-for-dollar, up to $15,000. The gift will name the holiday tree on the Orono Village Green.

“We’re profoundly grateful to The First for their generous matching support. Their contribution endorses our message to prospective donors – don’t let this campaign end without you,” Foundation President and Campaign Co-Chair Sarah Kenney said.

In announcing the matching gift, Tony C. McKim, President and CEO of The First commented, “We are honored to collaborate with the community and make a $15,000 matching gift to help the Orono Public Library Foundation cross the finish line and reach the goal for the Orono Village Green Campaign.”

According to Kenney, the Foundation must raise $58,728 to complete the campaign by August 31, 2015

All donors who contribute by or before August 31st will be recognized on an outdoor sign to be installed on the Orono Village Green.

“Every new gift to the campaign will be doubled, up to $15,000, thanks to this match from The First,” Kenney explained. “As we approach the August 31st finish line, this $30,000 boost puts the goal well within reach.”

The Orono Village Green: a gift for all ages

Posted on April 14 2015

The Orono Public Library Foundation is on its final stretch of fundraising for the project “Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green,” which will transform the area behind the Orono Library into an outdoor community space.

The foundation has set the campaign completion date for Aug. 31, 2015. At that time, all money raised will be gifted to the town of Orono to fund the construction of the Orono Village Green.

Kenney envisions the space as a piece of Orono that individuals of all ages can enjoy, including UMaine students.

“We do see a lot of college students that come and use this Library, and I’m really excited that this new project is something that can enhance students’ experience,” Kenney said. “We really want to see UMaine students outside using the WIFI…we expect to have concerts in the park, Shakespeare in the park and just all different types of events that will allow us to bring the Orono community together.”

Read the full article in the Maine Campus >>

Library Foundation sets August 31st completion date for campaign

Posted on March 31 2015

ORONO, ME – On the first day of spring, Orono Public Library Foundation officials announced that they have established the “finish line” for raising $370,000 for “Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green.” With $97,873 to go to reach the campaign goal, the Foundation set August 31, 2015 as the completion date, according to Foundation President Sarah Kenney.

Read more of this article at the Bangor Daily News.

Maine Community Foundation Grant

Posted on February 17 2015

The Orono Public Library Foundation has received a $1,500 grant from the Fritz and Susan Onion Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. The grant will be used to purchase new computer hardware for the Foundation.

The Orono Public Library Foundation was founded in 2002 and successfully led the $2.1 million capital campaign to fund the new library, which opened on Pine Street in 2009 thanks to the perseverance of dedicated community volunteers and the generous support of the Town of Orono and 918 individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations.

The Foundation is currently raising $370,000 for Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green. The Foundation Board of Directors crafted a plan for a privately funded landscape design for the grounds directly behind the library to benefit people of all ages and abilities. When complete, this project will transform the area into the Orono Village Green – a gift from the Orono Public Library Foundation to the Town of Orono.

Funds for the Orono Village Green campaign are being raised privately and will be gifted to the Town of Orono. The library and grounds are property of the town, and all aspects of the construction project will be managed by town staff. To date 294 donors have contributed $270,901.

Orono Public Library Foundation receives support for campaign from Penobscot Valley Dermatology

Posted on February 11 2015

The Orono Public Library Foundation has received a $7,500 contribution from Penobscot Valley Dermatology for Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green.

Dr. Orville Hartford MD, presented a check for the Orono Village Green to Campaign Co-Chair and Foundation President Sarah Kenney and Dave Cloutier, a member of the capital campaign committee. The $7,500 gift will name one of the pathways on the Orono Village Green.

"Penobscot Valley Dermatology is pleased to be associated with the Orono Village Green campaign,” Dr. Hartford said.

Penobscot Valley Dermatology is constructing a new medical office building on Main Street in Orono at the site of the former Oronoka Restaurant. The practice hopes to move to its new location in June 2015.

The campaign has raised $270,719 thanks to the generous contributions of 293 donors including individuals, families, foundations, businesses and organizations.

Sarah Kenney recognized the importance of the naming gift, “In 2015 we will complete this $370,000 campaign and we are especially grateful for the support of Dr. Hartford and Penobscot Valley Dermatology. Their naming gift demonstrates their commitment to Orono. We are thrilled to count them as an important partner in helping to make the Orono Village Green a reality,” Kenney said. 

Orono Village Green Gift from Penobscot Dermatology

 

456 Hours of Giving Starts Today!

Posted on December 13 2014

Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise

Starting today, the Orono Public Library Foundation is launching an innovative funding campaign with a goal of raising $25,000 by 12/31/14. The"456 Hours of Giving" campaign invites people to support Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green with an online giving opportunity to help complete the $370,000 capital campaign.

“Between December 13th and the 31st, donors have 456 hours to support the Orono Village Green campaign by giving online to our CrowdRise fundraiser,” explained Sarah Kenney, Foundation Board President and campaign Co-Chair.

“We’re inviting people to share this online campaign with their friends and family who live across the country, or around the world – letting them know they can help to make the Orono Village Green a reality with their financial support,” Kenney added.

The online campaign goal is $25,000 and can be found at: https://www.crowdrise.com/OronoVillageGreen/

“The Bangor Daily News is generously supporting the Orono Village Green by promoting the online campaign with a series of digital and print ads, and we’re certainly grateful for their major support,” Kenney said.

The Orono Village Green campaign has raised over $230,000 thanks to the generous contributions of 187 donors including individuals, families, foundations, businesses and organizations.

The Foundation Board of Directors crafted a plan for a privately funded landscape design for the grounds directly behind the library to benefit people of all ages and abilities. When complete, this project will transform the area into the Orono Village Green – a gift from the Orono Public Library Foundation to the Town of Orono. Funds for the Orono Village Green campaign are being raised privately and will be gifted to the Town of Orono. The library and grounds are property of the town, and all aspects of the construction project will be managed by town staff.

Orono Village GreenThe campaign goal also includes $25,000 to establish a restricted fund to support the annual maintenance by the town. The elements of the Orono Village Green plans, which will feature:

  • A 125-seat amphitheater with large flat stone stage
  • ADA accessible ramp, lawn and granite seating
  • Hundreds of ornamental trees, flowers and plantings
  • Stone plaza with tables, chairs and sun shade
  • Overlook area
  • Pergola
  • Bench seating areas
  • Pathways circling the grounds connecting to the Orono Senior Center and leading to the village

The Orono Public Library Foundation was founded in 2002 and successfully led the $2.1 million capital campaign to fund the new library, which opened on Pine Street in 2009 thanks to the perseverance of dedicated community volunteers and the generous support of the Town of Orono and 918 individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations.

The Orono Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to raise the funds to construct the library. An all-volunteer organization, the Foundation is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors.

Contact the Foundation by telephone (207) 991-3734, or mail PO Box 308, Orono, ME 04473.

Library foundation receives support from bank

Posted on October 14 2014

ORONO — The Orono Public Library Foundation announced that it has received a $2,000 contribution from Camden National Bank for Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green.


Taylor Black, Camden National Bank Orono branch manager, presented a check for the Orono Village Green to Campaign Co-chairwoman and foundation President Sarah Kenney on Oct. 3.


Brent Folster, vice president commercial banking officer said, “Camden National Bank is very honored to be associated with the Orono Village Green Project.”


The campaign has raised $218,239 thanks to the contributions of 143 donors including individuals, families, foundations, businesses and organizations.


Kenney said, “We are in the home-stretch of this $370,000 campaign and we are very grateful to have the support of Camden National Bank. Their support demonstrates their commitment to the community of Orono. We are delighted to count them as an important partner in helping to make the Orono Village Green a reality.”


In presenting the contribution, Taylor Black said, “We look forward to watching this project develop and are pleased to be able to contribute to the campaign.”


The Orono Public Library Foundation was founded in 2002 and successfully led the $2.1 million capital campaign to fund the new library, which opened on Pine Street in 2009 thanks to the perseverance of dedicated community volunteers and the support of the Town of Orono and 918 individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations.


The foundation board of directors crafted a plan for a privately funded landscape design for the grounds directly behind the library to benefit people of all ages and abilities.


When complete, the project will transform the area into the Orono Village Green, a gift from the Foundation to the Town of Orono.Funds for the Orono Village Green campaign are being raised privately and will be gifted to the Town of Orono. The library and grounds are property of the town, and all aspects of the construction project will be managed by town staff.


The campaign goal also includes $25,000 to establish a restricted fund to support the area’s annual maintenance by the town. The elements of the Orono Village Green will feature a 125-seat amphitheater with large flat stone stage; ADA accessible ramp, lawn and granite seating; hundreds of ornamental trees, flowers and plantings; stone plaza with tables, chairs and sun shade; an overlook area; a pergola; bench seating areas; pathways circling the grounds connecting to the Orono Senior Center and leading to the village.


For information about the foundation or to contribute to the Orono Village Green campaign go to oronolibraryfoundation.org, call 991-3734, or mail a letter or contribution to: P.O. Box 308, Orono ME 04473.

Photo: (Left) Orono Public Library Foundation Board President and Campaign Co-Chair Sarah Kenney accepted a check for $2,000 from Taylor Black, Camden National Bank Orono Branch Manager, for the Orono Village Green Campaign on October 3, 2014.

Orono Public Library Foundation announces major boost for Orono Village Green campaign

Posted on August 5 2014

Gift

Kiwanis gives Orono Village Green major boost!

The Orono Public Library Foundation announced a major boost for Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green. At their annual auction, the Orono-Old Town Kiwanis Club presented a check... for $12,500 for the Orono Village Green to Campaign Co-Chair Brian Rahill.

The campaign has raised $201,777 through the generous contributions of 109 donors including individuals, families, foundations, businesses, and organizations. During the public phase the Foundation would like to complete the campaign goal by the end of 2014 and transfer the funds to the town.

The Foundation has secured an additional $36,000 for the $370,000 capital campaign goal since publicly launching the project on May 30th.

“As donors to the Orono Public Library building campaign, the Orono-Old Town Kiwanis Club views our support of this new campaign for the Orono Village Green as a demonstration of our commitment to our community,” President Robert Swindlehurst said.

“This auction financially supports us throughout the year allowing us to in turn contribute to the success of projects like the Orono Village Green campaign. We encourage others to join us in supporting this community campaign.”

The Foundation is grateful for the generous support of the Orono-Old Town Kiwanis Club!

Photo: Maddy Allan-Rahill

Download the full press release here

Fundraising underway in Orono for amphitheater, green space behind library

Posted on August 5 2014

By Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News, Aug. 05, 2014

ORONO, Maine — Plans have been drawn up to build a handicap accessible granite amphitheater and complement it with native and ornamental gardens behind the Orono Public Library. Local residents, through the Orono Public Library Foundation capital campaign, raised the $2.1 million needed to build the media center that opened in 2009 and now the foundation board has embarked on, “Chapter Two: The Campaign for the Orono Village Green.”


“It’s going to add significant green space to Orono,” Sarah Kenney, Orono Public Library Foundation president,
said Monday. “It will connect the library to the senior center and village pathways. There is an amphitheater with
seating for 125, a large shaded area for chairs, a pergola, a place for people to have a quiet area to read or access Wi-Fi.”


Landscape architect Steve Ribble of Context by Design designed the area with hundreds of ornamental trees,
flowers and plantings, a shaded stone plaza connected to the library building that will feature tables and chairs, a
stone stage with amphitheater seating, some that is granite and some that is grass, bench seating and an overlook, according to the group’s website.


The fundraising goal for the three-season green space is $370,000, and $201,777 has already been raised, Kenney said.


“We have an aggressive goal to raise the funds by the end of this year. We would love to see this go out to bid in
the spring,” Kenney said. “We can’t wait. We envision people sitting out there having picnics, [with] impromptu
music on the stage.”


Once the funds are raised, “We will gift that to the town of Orono to construct that space,” she said.
Some of the funds will be used for maintenance and upkeep of the area.


The names of all who donate will be etched onto a permanent display at the facility, and there are still naming
rights available for some areas of the site that includes the seating area, Kenney said.


The stone stage will be named in honor of the late Dana and Mary Ann Devoe, who were instrumental in
supporting and getting the word out about the library construction project.


“This is just going to be a place where the community can gather,” Kenney said of the downtown village green project.


To find out more about the Orono Village Green campaign or make a donation contact the foundation by email, info@oronolibraryfoundation.org, call 991-3734, or mail P.O. Box 308, Orono, ME 04473.

Volunteer Spotlight - Barbara Wicks

Posted on August 14 2012

As a group of community leaders were planning for the new library, Barbara Wicks of Orono saw an opportunity to honor Constance Hunting, the late poet, widely published author, professor and founder of Puckerbrush Press.

Barbara

Now retired, Wicks taught English at the University of Chicago Lab Schools and at a high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Locally, she taught for many years at the secondary and university levels and, like Hunting, has a passion for the written word.

“I realized that it would be appropriate to have a named space in the new library to honor Connie Hunting,” Wicks said, and that’s exactly what she did.

Working with Nancy MacKnight, a close friend and supporter of Connie’s, and the late Mary Lou Colbath, the three women led a fundraising effort to raise $25,000 to name the South Reading Area in the Orono Public Library in memory of Constance Hunting.

Connie

In addition to coordinating the mini-campaign, Wicks also served on the Capital Campaign Steering Committee and the Finishes and Furnishings Committee and joined the Orono Public Library Foundation Board of Directors in 2009.  She is currently serving as the board secretary.

As a result of her involvement with the library capital campaign Wicks often hears comments from her friends and neighbors in the Orono community about the facility. 

“They tell me, ‘It’s beautiful;’ ‘I never thought it would happen;’ ‘How did we do without it?’ I also hear what a nice campus setting the library provides for Orono’s downtown,” Wicks added.

Quote“I have friends who use the Orono Public Library rather than their hometown libraries,” Wicks said. “People like to come to Orono for the comfortable facility as well as the friendly staff.  Our library is a gem for the greater Orono area.”

Wicks is delighted that the library continues to grow and evolve.

“The library is a community center. I like to think of it as the ‘town well,’” Wicks explained.

“The library draws a larger number of people of all ages and interests now, and that’s wonderful.”  Wicks added, “My grandson is happily among the more recent patrons.”

Orono Public Library Foundation Receives $25,000 Donation From Arline K. Thomson

Posted on December 9 2010

December 15th Holiday Reception Will Honor Arline's Legacy

Sarah Kenney
President, Orono Public Library Foundation
skenney@sbkconsulting.com

ORONO,December 6, 2010 –The Orono Public Library Foundation announce a $25,000 donation from the estate of Arline K.Thomson.Arline was a well known artist and book designer.She worked at the University of Maine's Department of Public Affairs and Central Services and in the University of Maine Press for more than 20 years.Arline received many forms of recognition,including the prestigious UMaine Patrons of the Arts Vincent Hartgen Award in 2007.

“The Foundation is both honored and grateful for such a generous donation to our new library,” said OPLF President Sarah Kenney.“Arline’s desire to see the library grow in size is shared by many in the community.Patrons of all ages are enjoying the new space and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

As a way to honor Arline's legacy we would like to invite the public to a Holiday Reception on Wednesday, December 15 th at 3:00 PM.

About the Orono Public Library Foundation: The Orono Public Library Foundation was established in 2002 to build a free-standing public library for the town of Orono and to provide for the library's ongoing support.  The Foundation supports the Orono Public Library's mission: to serve as a community resource and to support the educational, cultural and informational needs of the people of Orono.  The Foundation is committe to strengthening the Orono community and enhancing the quality of life for all Orono's citizens.The Orono Public Library Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3)charitable organization founde by the Citizens Library Campaign Committee,a group of residents dedicated to actively pursuing support for the new library.

For more information please contact Sarah Kenney:skenney@sbkconsulting.com, or the Orono Public Library 866-5060

New OPLF Board Named

Posted on February 22 2010

Welcome to the new Orono Public Library Foundation board. The following members are listed below:

President: Sarah Kenney

Vice President: Brian Rahill

Treasurer: Geoff Gordon

Secretary: Barbara Wicks

Additional Members: Tom Perry, Tom Spitz

The current board members would like to thank the previous OPLF board and committee for all their hardwork.

Events

New Orono Public Library Unveiled September 12, 2009

Posted on September 12 2009

A wonderful day in Orono's history was marked on September 12, 2009. View the WABI coverage and see what all the buzz is about!

http://www.wabi.tv/news/7578/new-orono-public-library-unveiled

Orono residents break ground for new libary (Bangor Daily News Article)

Posted on August 24 2008

 
9/24/08
Orono residents break ground for new library

ORONO, Maine — It’s just a grassy, lumpy, rocky field right now, but by this time next year a building that will house the Orono Public Library could be standing on it.

More than 100 residents and supporters attended a Tuesday afternoon groundbreaking for the library, another step in a six-year drive to put the town’s first free-standing public library in a lot on the corner of Pine and Birch streets.

“I have to say, the groundbreaking event has to be the most satisfying day of the whole effort,” said David Chase, president of the Orono Public Library Foundation, which has been working on the new library project since 2002.

“After six years, it’s nice to be in this spot with shovels about ready to go into a pile of sand, so we can enter this final stage of getting this new library built,” Chase added.

Orono’s library is located in a 4,000-square-foot space inside a building on Goodridge Drive that also houses Orono Middle and High schools. The new building will be about 6,000 square feet, librarian Kathy Molloy said.

Construction could begin as soon as next week, Orono Public Library Foundation vice president Dana Devoe said. The contractor is E.W. Littlefield of Hartland and the architect is WBRC of Bangor.

After remarks from Molloy, Chase and Devoe, a group including those three each dug their shovels into the pile of sand for the ceremony. The public was then invited to join in. Some people brought their own shovels.

Mill Street resident and writer Sandra Hutchison was one of the first town residents to step forward and dig a shovel into the mound of dirt.

Hutchison said her daughter Shira Hollinger, a sixth-grader at Orono Middle School whose first name means poetry in Hebrew, is also excited for the new building.

“My daughter loves to write and read as well,” Hutchison said, holding an orange plastic shovel. “We are so happy. We bought a house a decade ago around the corner without any idea a library was going to be here. We’re literally two minutes away. It’s a wonderful turn of events for us.”

Several speakers thanked Alice and Charlie Smith, residents who several years ago convinced University of Maine professor Katherine Miles Durst, who died in 2002, to donate $200,000 in cash and stocks to the cause. The library’s children’s wing will be named for Durst.

“We know that libraries change lives,” Molloy said. “There will be little miracles happening with little people, some of whom haven’t even been born yet. That’s why I have a feeling of awe, thinking about the future and the wonderful things that will happen after we open the doors.”

The foundation had raised $2,049,000 as of Aug. 14. The building itself will cost around $1,547,000, Devoe said.


Copyright © 2017 Orono Public Library Foundation | PO Box 308 | Orono, ME 04473 | info@oronolibraryfoundation.org

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