The only problem: She is
not quite sure where the videos will go.
“We don’t have a
place to display them,” Schaaf said. “I don’t
know where we’re going to display everything.
We’re just going to do the best we can with the
limited space we have.” The space crunch facing the
teen program is the rule, not the exception, at the
Goffstown Public Library.
“For a community our
size, our building does not meet the needs,” said
Dianne Hathaway, the library director. “Every floor,
every area, is not big enough for the demand that is
put on it.”
But library officials
are now planning an expansion that would end the
chronic overcrowding. In July, some library trustees
told a capital improvement planning committee that the
Goffstown Public Library is three times smaller than
facilities in surrounding towns with similar
The Hooksett Library is
25,000 square feet for a town of about 13,000 people.
Bedford has a little more than 19,000 square feet of
library space for about 21,000 people. The Goffstown
library, on the other hand, serves about 18,000 people
with 5,100 square feet in three floors.
“As our community
grows … our library needs to grow with it,” said
Susan Plante, a trustee.
Hathaway said there has
been talk of an expansion since she assumed her post
nine years ago, but this is the first year trustees
have presented a proposal to the capital improvement
“It’s always been
there, but nothing specific as far as a plan of
action,” Hathaway said. “At some point, we have to
put the pedal to the metal.”
By the end of this
year, trustees are expecting to receive
recommendations for a long-range plan and a building
program from a library consultant. Meanwhile, until
the specifics from those reports are available, the
capital improvement planning committee has slated the
building project for 2012 at a roughly estimated cost
of $2.7 million.
The options for an
expansion are quite limited. It is unlikely that the
town would consider moving the library somewhere else,
according to Selectman Scott Gross.
“People have talked
about it, but I don’t think it’s been taken
seriously because the building is deeded as a
library,” Gross said.
The library has two
neighboring properties. One is the location of a TD
Banknorth branch. The other is a vacant
Victorian-style mansion on three quarters of an acre
that is being advertised for sale or lease by The
Masiello Group. The 12 High St. property has an
assessed value of $458,500, according to town records.
In 2007, the town
Planning Board approved a plan to turn the historic
home into offices and build a 12-unit condominium.
Abutters challenged the
approval in Hillsborough County Superior Court, which
ruled in favor of the town earlier this year,
according to Steve Keach, the civil engineer for the
Keach said the owner,
Ray Donner, had considered selling the land to the
town and had met with the library trustees to discuss
“I think he would
have willingly sold it to them and possibly at a
number that was less than its true value, but they
didn’t have the ability to buy it at the time,”
Donner could not be
reached for comment in time for publication. Hathaway
said the library staff was aware that the land next
door was for sale. “We certainly have to think about
that as well as other things,” she said. “Any kind
of land abutting our property would be awesome.”
If the trustees are
still interested in the next-door property, Gross said
they would have to bring the matter to the attention
of selectmen. A date for that meeting, however, has
not been set.