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New Library Groundbreaking
$3.8 million project will be complete June 2004

Mount Olive Twp. - Wednesday April 16 2003 marked the day for breaking ground on the new township library. With the project to be complete in June of 2004. (right) Library Board President Jerry Sheard; and Library Director Rita L. Hilbert, during the ceremony. (above left) Jerry Sheard leads everyone in  the flag salute.

Photos By Joe Gigli

Mount Olive Breaks Ground for
New Library

Photos By Joe Gigli

By Jeanne Dikdan Gigli

MT. OLIVE On a brilliant warm and sunny spring day, members and friends of the Mt. Olive Public Library community gathered to break ground on Wednesday, April 16 for its new 21,400-square-foot library that will be located on 8 acres of a 16-acre tract of land that is adjacent from the Municipal Complex on Flanders-Drakestown Road.

 The estimated cost of the project, due for completion in late spring 2004, is $3.88 million. This was the lowest bid received of several contractors, said Rita Hilbert, library director. It was awarded to the Blackstone Group of Newark. Dennis Kowal Architects designed the state-of-the-art building.

 Mrs. Hilbert explained that Blackstone's bid was almost $2 million below the initial development estimate of $5.2 million because the company agreed to significantly cut its own profit from the deal. "They (Blackstone) had been following the work of the architects who do wonderful work. Blackstone took the cut because they just wanted the

Photos (Top) Digging in with shovels in hand are (l-r) Mayor Paul Licitra; essay winner Stefanie Weland; Library Director Rita L. Hilbert; essay winner Benjamin Goodyear; Library Board VP Jane Israel; and Library Board President Jerry Sheard. (above) Stefanie Weland, delivers her winning essay. (below) Benjamin Goodyear, delivers his winning essay.

opportunity to work with Dennis Kowal Architects who are very well respected in the construction industry," she said.

   A New Jersey State Construction Bond Grant for $998,000 was awarded for the project and the Mt. Olive Township Council contributed $644,000.

In addition to the main space, there will be 6,300 square feet of unfinished basement that will be used for storage. The facility will have much-needed areas for

children's reading, computer training and programming, special activities, lectures, book collections, crafts and reference.

 "The new building will enable us to serve the people in our community who rely on the services that the Mt. Olive Public Library provides," said Jane Israel, vice president of the Board of Trustees.

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