GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

May 15, 2013

Editorial: Uplifting steps for the library

It would have been nice if the Sawyer Free Library’s $750,000 landscaping project didn’t have to begin with tearing down a historic Norway Maple Monday morning.

But the truth is, the diseased condition of the tree left library officials with virtually no choice, and its removal indeed kicks off what should be a very uplifting project aimed at cleaning up and otherwise improving the aesthetic appearance of the grounds surrounding one of Gloucester’s treasures.

With the tree now literally out of the picture, the project, which is drawing both private funding through the Friends of the Library and $75,000 allocated from the city’s Community Preservation Act funds, will first include a regrading of the walkway from the front of the library down to the side entrance and the amphitheater. That, in turn, includes a rebuilding of the handicapped-access ramp now leading off Dale Avenue to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Next will come construction of the little outdoor amphitheater and steps into the property from Dale Avenue. And the final phase involves the construction at the back of a paved parking lot with 35-36 spaces for handicapped parking for employees and patrons alike.

All of these improvements — and a city funding allocation in the coming fiscal year that should meet the state’s certifications demands — should all boost the library’s aesthetic profile, and hopefully catch residents’ attention so to raise awareness of all that this true city gem has to offer.

We welcome the project, and look forward to its end result.

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