SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The current Scotch Plains Library is a 14,000 sq. ft. building built in the mid 1960s that, according to the Township, is no longer capable of meeting the community’s needs. Use of the Library has increased over the years, and it has become a community resource center operating well beyond its capacity.
A new 25,000 sq. ft. library has been proposed with a design that incorporates traditional library services with modern technology and resources. It will provide programs, resources, information and services that will ensure the well-being and success of the Scotch Plains community now and well into the 21st Century.
Scotch Plains Township and the Scotch Plains Public Library Board submitted a grant application to the State of New Jersey for a new public library at a projected cost of $12 million. Half of the funding is expected to come from grants made available through the Library Construction Bond Act passed by New Jersey voters in November 2017, which authorized $125 million in state bonds to support the rehabilitation and construction of modern and technologically efficient library facilities.
"We are seeking half the amount ($6 million) through grants available through the Library Construction Bond Act. We expect to hear back regarding the grant at the end of this month, although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may shift timelines," said Mayor Al Smith.
The design was created by Netta Architects as the consultant on the grant process. The current library will continue to function while the new one is under construction. The design calls for the building to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient with a naturally lit environment. It will be located on Bartle Ave. to the left of the existing library. Additionally, the new library will have an emergency generator to help provide emergency services in the downtown in the case of severe storms or other emergencies. It is expected to play a big role in making the Scotch Plains downtown more attractive.
The main floor of the building will include a multi-purpose room that will be available for all kinds of programming for both adults and children. Many of the adult services will take place on the main floor. The library plans to have plenty of patron seating and accessible computer services.
The second floor of the new building will feature reading and study rooms and a tech lab.
Third Floor - Teen and Children's Sections
The library's teen and children’s areas will be on the third floor. The “teen room” will be for activities including homework and computer activities, as well as separate seating and reading areas for teenagers. The children’s section of the floor will have reading and computer space, an activity room, and a separate story time area.
"The library under the new downtown redevelopment plan will be a center of attraction for people who come downtown," Mayor Smith added.
To view the presentation on the library, click here: