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Ti library expansion under way

TICONDEROGA - A project 20 years in the making is becoming a reality.

Construction has started on the expansion of the Black Watch Memorial Library in Ticonderoga.

"I'm very excited," Heather Johns, library director, said. "It's been a long time in the planning and fundraising stages. I can't believe we're finally doing it."

A formal ground breaking ceremony was held at the library on Montcalm Street April 28. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31.

The project will more than double the space in the library. The existing building is 1,405 square feet; the addition will create another 1,450 square feet of space. The general contractor for the project is Bast Hatfield.

The addition will allow for a reading room, a meeting room, a children's room and expanded programs and computer use.

The project will also make the library fully handicap accessible.

A library expansion has been in the works for two decades, explained Steve Whitford, a Ticonderoga town councilor who serves on the library committee.

With an initial price tag of $1 million, the library just couldn't find the money, he said.

"About four years ago we scaled back the plans and things really started to happen," Whitford said.

The expansion project will cost $565,000. The money is coming from grants and donations.

"Not a penny of this is taxpayer money," Whitford stressed.

Johns said library officials are grateful for community support.

"The staff and the board of the library would like to thank the community for its many years of contributions to our expansion fund," Johns said. "We consider this to be a community-funded project. All of the money is donations and grant money. The library has had many generous donors, but the contributions of Muriel Major, Jane Parmley and the Vickers family have made our dream become a reality."

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