CRANBURY, NJ – According to township officials, the Cranbury Public Library staff "got the memo," a major step forward in building a new $2.6 million, stand-alone facility.

During Monday night's Township Committee meeting, Committeeman Dan Mulligan, who is liaison to the library, said that the township had prepared a memo of understanding for the library, authorizing the opening of the bidding process.

“The Library Board of Trustees, architects, engineers and planners have dotted every 'i' and crossed every 't,' Library Board President Kirstie Venanzi said. “Now, with detailed documents approved by Cranbury Township, the project is officially out to bid.”

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Working towards the goal of a dedicated, new library and community space, the Cranbury Public Library Foundation and board have raised nearly $2.6 million in private donations from more than 700 donors across town, according to a press release from the library.

According to the release, the amount raised to date is just $177,000 below estimated construction costs.

“Our final task is to make sure we have the funding in place to begin construction,” Library Director Marilynn Mullen said. “We are planning to raise this amount before the bids are opened in a public meeting on July 26 at 11 a.m. in the library.”

The current library shares space within the Cranbury School.

A supporter of public/private partnerships, Mulligan said he's on board with the library's efforts at self funding the project.

“As long as they have all the money collected and the funds are in the bank and they're ready to go with that, then we'll support them obviously, as they want to move forward,” he said.

As a way to close the funding gap, the library has launched the Community Walk of Knowledge brick program.

“We are paving the path to our future – one brick at a time,” Library Foundation President Michael Ferrante said. “Now is the time to purchase a personalized brick to mark your place in Cranbury’s history!”

According to Ferrante, 65 residents and local businesses have already purchased a brick in support of the project. 

“Champion” bricks (8” X 8”) are $1,000 and include up to six lines of text, to recognize a business or family, honor a loved one, or include a favorite quote. “Citizen” bricks (4” X 8”) are also available for $500 and have space for up to three lines of text, according to the release.

Individuals can place brick orders in person at the library or on the foundation's website at www.CranburyLibraryFoundation.org.

“It's been a long time getting to this point, so we are really excited, but we've had a lot of great volunteers that have helped us on this and we have a lot of support from the community,” Mullen said. “The community is behind us and we're really grateful for that.”

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