Update

Exterior construction at the new Norwell Public Library at 64 South St. is underway, with workers laying the building’s foundation.

The old building is almost demolished. Workers must do one more round of asbestos abatement before the old building’s foundation can be removed.

The old building was in use for more than 40 years and, at 8,500 square feet, was one of the smallest libraries out of other towns in the state comparable to Norwell’s size. The new building, at 22,300 square feet, will sit at the same location as the old one but will be more than twice as large.

Recent History
Voters approved funding for a new library at a special town meeting in December 2017 by a vote of 506 to 61. A special election approved the measure later that month, by a vote of 1,118 to 345.

In August, dozens of residents, local officials, and members of both the Norwell Public Library Board of Trustees and Friends of the Norwell Public Library gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the library site, 64 South St.

Since May, the Norwell Public Library has been operating out of its temporary home at 1207 Washington St., in Hanover, in a site previously occupied by a Mattress Firm.

A new, modern library

The new building will include a media center, an expansive children’s room, meeting and study rooms and a local history room as well as a designated eating area. Some areas of the library, like the meeting rooms, will be open to the public after hours through a series of security gates. There will also be more than twice as many parking spaces as at the old building.

The town will be responsible for about $8.6 million of the $15.4 million needed for the project, which will be paid through a 20-year debt exclusion of Proposition 2-1/2. In July 2017, the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program awarded the town a $6.4 million grant to cover the remaining costs.

Construction is tentatively set to be finished in August of 2020, with a grand opening planned for September.