The South Brunswick Township Council is financially committed to the expansion and renovation of the South Brunswick Public Library.
With a unanimous vote, the Council approved a bond ordinance at a meeting on Oct. 25, which authorizes $3.01 million in bonds for the expansion and renovation of the public library at 110 Kingston Lane.
The approved bond ordinance is amended from a previous bond ordinance adopted in 2021.
The project renovating and expanding the Christopher J. Killmurray Building had been estimated to cost $7.2 million and is due to projected population growth from mandated affordable housing obligations, officials said.
In the summer, it was announced that $500,000 was allocated in the 2023 state budget to go towards the public library’s expansion and renovation project to address inflation and unexpected site work.
The $500,000 in funds had been requested to address the unplanned expenses required for additional earthwork, site grading, retaining walls and guard rails necessary to protect adjacent wetlands and mitigate a low water table, officials said.
The project includes constructing a 128-seat theater and auditorium, the Friends book donation and storage area, expanded parking and a new meeting room.
Additionally, the existing meeting room will be divided into group workspaces and the teen space would be enlarged. The project addresses accessibility issues, insufficient space for community engagement and education, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) repairs.
An extensive entrance ramp is being replaced with a new lobby and elevator, non-compliant restrooms are being renovated into accessible family restrooms, there will be a new conference room, and four small group study rooms, as well as, creating a new quiet room, according to the South Brunswick Library Foundation campaign.
A 50% match in state funding had been previously granted through the Library Construction Bond Act (LCBA) in the amount of $3.58 million to help cover costs in 2021.
The other portions of funding to cover the cost of the project come from the $3.01 million bond ordinance the Council approved, $405,000 in federal funds and $250,000 from the Library Board of Trustees.
In May, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) delivered the federal grant funds to township library officials. It was announced in April that the library received the funds, which are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.