PHOTOS: ‘New’ New Canaan Library

The widely anticipated new New Canaan Library project is on budget and ahead of schedule, with an expected opening date of the first quarter in 2023, according to Executive Director Lisa Oldham. Here are some photos from a walkthrough that we took with Oldham on June 16. 

New Canaan Library: $1.5 Million Needed Now to Move ‘Legacy’ Building in Time for Feb. ‘23 Opening of New Facility

New Canaan Library officials said Tuesday that unless their organization is able to secure funding to move the original 1913 building to the western edge of its campus—as conditioned by the Planning & Zoning Commission via approvals last July and December—they could end up with two facilities, the present-day library and a new one, sitting next to each other. The library has already has raised more than $33 million toward its new approximately $40 million building, including a $10 million gift from the town, Executive Director Lisa Oldham told members of the Board of Finance at their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

Yet the library sees the P&Z-approved project of preserving and moving what remains of the 1,200-square-foot 1913 or “legacy” building as a separate project, and need $1.5 million now in order for that structure to be secured on a new foundation behind the Sunoco gas station by the time the new facility opens to the public Feb. 1, 2023, Oldham said. (A further $1 million will be needed to fit out the building for use, such as by getting insulation, heat, bathrooms and plumbing in it.)

Asked by Board of Finance Chair Todd Lavieri how the library is going to get the $1.5 million, Oldham said, “That is a good question.”

“As our primary investors, our biggest investor, you will appreciate that I am full focused on fundraising the last $6.5 million for the main project,” she said. “This [new library] can’t wait for me to finish that [legacy building] job, so we need a source of funding immediately.

‘I Am So Excited’: Site Works Begins at New Canaan Library [CORRECTED]

With site work getting underway for New Canaan Library’s widely anticipated $39.2 million rebuilding project, visitors starting Monday will encounter new access routes for motor vehicles and pedestrians during construction. Motorists seeking to use the book-drop now can only enter the library property from South Avenue, where three disabled parking spaces and three additional short-term spots have been set aside, and can only exit onto Cherry Street, officials say. Additionally, 76 free library parking spaces have been set aside in Center School lot. From there, pedestrians can enter the library property via South Avenue for the existing rear entrance, or can access one of two entrances on Main Street, including the one for the original building. 

The library’s executive director, Lisa Oldham, said the new building is expected to be ready for move-in in 15 months, or in February 2023. “I’m so very happy to be a part of such an important and positive development for this community,” Oldham said.