WHAT KIND OF LIBRARY DOES AMHERST WANT?
An Alternative Approach for the Jones Library would be a comprehensive architect-designed Renovation within the existing building footprint that would:
♦ Preserve the unique architectural features on the interior and exterior of the Library to remain visually compatible with the surrounding historic buildings. Examples of this alternative approach would include hiring a professional library space planner to reconfigure interior layout to use existing space more efficiently. If, after reconfiguring the interior layout, more space is needed, explore an "in-spansion" by building higher. An in-spansion (which would qualify for an MBLC grant) could include opening up unused space on upper floors with an ADA compliant elevator and/or adding an additional story (one story was removed during the 1990s expansion).
♦ Reflect Amherst's values of repurposing and sustainable design by NOT demolishing the well-built brick 1990s Addition that would create more than 1,660+ tons of demolition debris. That is equivalent to more the 207 LARGE dumpster loads of demolition debris. This approach, based on green energy principles, is in stark contrast to the proposed wasteful Demolition-Expansion. Another example, would be to replace the existing leaky Atrium with clerestory windows to allow natural light and the placement of solar panels on the roof. See photo below for an example of clerestory windows.
clerestory windows would allow natural light and solar panels
♦ Honor the unique literary history that took place in the original 1928 Library, by preserving and better using those special rooms. (Read more on The Jones Library History page.)
Robert Frost Room (now Goodwin Room) on third floor
♦ Include the needs of our two Branch Libraries for upgrading and increased staff funding. For example, the North Amherst Branch Library does not have an accessible public restroom and staff hours are limited. A comprehensive approach to a Renovation would acknowledge how our branch libraries are an integral part of our 3-building Library System and the important role these branch libraries play in decreasing downtown traffic and improving access for ALL.
North Amherst Branch Library South Amherst's Munson Branch Library
♦ Preserve the beloved Kinsey Memorial Garden on the Library grounds as a rare botanically diverse green space in downtown Amherst (Read more on the Kinsey Garden page). The Garden was a gift to the Jones Library in 1999, and it deserves to be prized for the natural habitat and contemplative space it provides to all Library patrons and to Amherst's quality of life.
Amherst's Green Gem would be lost under the Demolition-Expansion