Some More on Somerville's Union Square Library Grant
There's about $80 million worth of library projects ahead of Somerville on the state's waiting list for grants, but most waiting list projects are ultimately funded, according to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
The city announced Tuesday it was in line to receive an $18 million grant from the state to build a new main library in Union Square.
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners put Somerville on its Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program "waiting list" for the grant money.
We spoke to Celeste Bruno, a spokesperson with the Board of Library Commissioners, to learn a little more about the grant program.
"Waiting list," may not sound like a sure thing, especially since Somerville is number 15 on that list. That said, Bruno noted, "Our construction program has been around for 25 years and we've never had a waiting list that hasn't been funded."
The program's current funding levels mean it is able to provide grants to approximately the first eight projects on the waiting list. Those projects represent about $42 million worth of library construction in Reading, Belmont, Edgartown, Salisbury, Framingham, Scituate, Shrewsbury and Acushnet.
The Board of Library Commissioners will need another bond bill to fund projects that are ranked nine and below on the list, Bruno said.
In total, there's about $80 million worth of projects ahead of Somerville on the list.
Communities that receive grants need to provide local matching funds, so it's possible some communities ahead of Somerville on the list will decide not to pursue their library projects, which would move Somerville up on the list.
Bruno said cities and towns are so confident their grants will come through that some communities build libraries before they actually receive the grants. Construction of a library in East Boston, which is ranked 14 on the list, one ahead of Somerville, is already under way, she noted.
Somerville's Union Square library is projected to cost about $45 million, according to the city's announcement.