Grafton Public Library

A Renovated, Expanded Library… The Time is Now

library construction project sign

The Grafton Public Library’s Renovation and Expansion project is partially funded by a state grant administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. A Capital Campaign to assist in funding the project and future capital needs was launched in 2017; donations can be made at any UniBank location or mailed to Capital Campaign, PO Box 387, Grafton MA 01519.

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Construction Photo Albums
Site Work

Overview of Site Work, November 2019

Construction Schedule, February 2021

Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment, March 2021

Schematic Design (Furniture Layout)

Construction Updates:

Project Size: 25,212 square feet (existing: 7,216 – 3,078 sq. ft. to be demo’d + 21,074 sq. ft. addition)
Upper Level: 13,363 sq. ft.
Lower Level: 11,849 sq.ft
Children’s Space:
3,630 sq. ft.
Teen Space: 3,108 sq. ft

Project Cost: $16,597,997

Eligible costs: $15.8 million. MBLC will reimburse ~48% of these costs. If costs go down, grant reimbursement will decrease; if costs go up, grant reimbursement will not exceed $15.8 million total.

Provisional Grant Award: $7,435,041

Tentative Construction Schedule November 11, 2019

  • April 2018: Hire OPM. Scout temporary location
  • May 2018: go out to bid for an architect
  • June 2018: hire architects
  • July 2018: sign contract with MBLC
  • July -April 2019: develop design documents.
  • March/April 2019: Move to a temporary location
  • April-August 2019 develop construction documents
  • August 2019: go out to bid for a contractor/subs
  • September 2019: Hire a general contractor
  • November 2019: BREAK GROUND
  • November 2019-Spring 2021: CONSTRUCTION
  • Spring 2021: Grand Reopening GALA?
  • July 2021?: 1st reimbursement (less any monies received previously – this timeline could shift up by 1 year due to other libraries not getting their funding)
  • December 2021?: Punch list completed, closeout
  • July 2022?: 2nd reimbursement
  • July 2023?: 3rd reimbursement
  • July 2024?: 4th reimbursement
  • July 2025?: final reimbursement

Preliminary Floor Plans, Site Plan and Elevations

Schematic Design, March 2019

Level 1 Upton Street Floor Plan 1-9-2017

Level 2 Common Floor Plan 1-9-2017

West & North Elevations 1/9/17

East and South Elevation 1/9/17 

Site Plan 1/9/2017

Grafton Public Library Building Program

About the Project
The Grafton Public Library, established in 1867, celebrated it’s sesquentennial anniversary in 2017. Originally housed in the Warren Block (1 Grafton Common) the Library moved to a permanent location in 1927, thanks to a generous donation from Jerome Wheelock. The original building, now nearly 90 years old, housed a collection of 5,000 items to serve a population of 6,000 residents, a public meeting room, a board room, and a librarian’s office. It was only open a few hours a week and children were not permitted to become members.

In 2016, the Library hosted over 77,000 visitors and circulated over 138,000 items. Over 45,000 items were crammed into a space intended for 35,000. The Library lacked a public meeting room, private staff areas, a secure climate-controlled space for historical items, comfortable seating, display space for the collection, and materials to satisfy demand. In short, the Library has become grossly inadequate in meeting the needs of the community of Grafton.

The MA Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) Grant was completed and submitted in January 2017; at a special Town Meeting in January 2017, residents voted for the Library to have jurisdiction over some of the adjacent acreage at 90 Upton Street for purposes of Library expansions.

At the May 2017 Town Meeting, residents voted to accept the preliminary building design, which includes meeting rooms, quiet study rooms, a teen space, a children’s program room, a quiet reading room, and ample parking.

Voters also approved raising and appropriating matching funding, moving the question to ballot for the May Election. The Library funding question passed on May 16, 2017. In July 2017, the Town of Grafton was awarded a provisional grant by the MA Board of Library Commissioners to cover 51% of the estimated eligible costs. In September the Select Board voted their confidence in the provisional grant, and to borrow the money for the project to proceed immediately.

Video on Demand: Town Meeting May 8, 2017

Video on Demand: Special Town Meeting January 9, 2017

Video: 3-D Rendering of proposed expansion


Community Forum Three: Monday, December 19, 2016 7pm

Video on Demand of Community Meeting December 19

Level 1 Upton Street Floor Plan

Level 2 Common Floor Plan

Community Forum Two: Wednesday November 16

Slides from Community Meeting November 16

Video on Demand of Community Meeting November 16

Community Forum One: Thursday October 20, 2016

Slides from Community Meeting October 20

Video on Demand of Community Meeting October 20

Other Documents of Interest

Previous Library Renovation and Expansion Attempts

Pinterest Pages of Library Elements We Like

Town Meeting Presentation Monday May 9, 2016 (go to 41:10)

This project is partially funded by a state grant administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.