library expansion

Frequently Asked Questions



Why do we need to renovate and expand the library?

The Avon Free Public Library no longer meets the needs of our community.  All aspects of library service have grown significantly in the past 20 years. 

Completion of a renovation in 1997 added 3,000 square feet of useable space for the Library and achieved several objectives: quiet study areas for adults and children; a dedicated children’s storytime room and computer lab; an electronic reference area; compliance with new ADA requirements; and upgraded work spaces for some staff.  A new color scheme with carpet, furnishings and paint was part of the renovation.  No action could be taken on collection space needs, additional seating, parking, and meeting space. 

How big is the planned expansion?

The present building size is 18,000 sq. ft.  The addition will add a further 22,000 sq. ft. for a total of 40,000 sq. ft.  The additions will go to the west towards Sunnybrook Road and south.  The new space will include a basement providing badly needed storage space for the town and the Friends of the Avon Library.

How much will it cost?

Presently the expansion and renovation is estimated to cost $9,498,466; an updated estimate will be obtained before the project goes to referendum.  The Town will receive a $1M State Grant and the Library Board of Trustees hopes to raise at least $500,000.  The Town’s portion will be provided from capital bonds, which will allow the cost to be spread out over 20 years.  Those bonds will be based on a cost of $7,998,466, using the current estimated project cost.  The cost per taxpayer will be calculated at the time of the referendum.

Why does the project cost so much?

The building will meet stringent State guidelines that require it to be adequate for the Town’s population for at least 20 years.  Actually, taking the Town’s long range “build out” population projections in consideration, this will be “it” for any sizable additions to the building.  The open, interior “no walls” design will give the building flexibility for any possible renovations needed in the future.

Will you be able to stay in the library during construction?

Safety of our users and their access to the library is our first consideration. The parking lot may be used for staging and construction materials.  It’s possible that it will cost the same amount to stay in the Library or move to a temporary location.  There would no cost savings of one option over the other and the project would probably take longer to complete if the library were to stay during construction.  

Will the operating expenses increase?

Our estimates are that operating costs will be minimal. Expansion of the Library will require some new staff and additional expense for operating costs such as utilities.  However, more efficient heating & air conditioning, modern and natural lighting, better insulation, and “green” building techniques will greatly improve operating efficiencies.

Is the project approved?

Yes. The referendum passed on October 22, 2009. 21.6 % of registered voters voted. Yes: 1,418. No: 1,170.

What will we get?

A library that will meet the needs of our community for the next twenty years.  Multi purpose, flexible space that gives us room to grow, with these priorities:

  • More space for books in all forms with additional and more accessible shelves offering current titles, more large print selections, CDs, DVDs, and audio books.
  • More space to sit whether you want to read the newspaper, current magazines, or spread out your work on large tables.
  • A larger children’s library with more space for pre-school activities, two storytime rooms with adjacent craft areas and space for an expanded collection.
  • An expanded teen area with comfortable seating where teens can gather, work on group projects, browse their own collections, or use the computer.
  • A larger program room with flexible seating and presentation technology, accommodating up to one hundred and fifty people for lectures, concerts and other programs and capable of dividing into two separate meeting rooms.
  • In addition to the larger program room, individual rooms to be used as meeting space for groups, to meet together or study quietly alone.
  • Improved computer access and capabilities that includes additional hard-wire workstations and wireless connections for children, teens and adults.
  • Expanded Avon History Room accessible to all by relocating it on the first floor.
  • More parking spaces and drive-by book drop that will be open 24/7.
  • Improved work areas for staff and volunteers.


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