Expanded North Amherst Library branch to reopen Monday

The renovated and expanded North Amherst Library is now also handicapped-accessible.

The renovated and expanded North Amherst Library is now also handicapped-accessible. CONTRIBUTED

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 02-03-2024 11:00 AM

AMHERST — North Amherst Library, closed since the spring of 2022 for a $1.7 million project to make the 1893 building fully accessible and provide public bathrooms for the first time, reopens Monday.

The expansion of the 1,080-square-foot, town-owned building at 8 Montague Road, funded by an anonymous donor, added 1,200 square feet of space for bathrooms, a chairlift between the original floor and the addition, and a community room for 40 to 45 people, though that space is not yet furnished. The work was completed by Wright Builders of Northampton.

Until early last September, the branch’s services were offered from a temporary space at the North Square in the Mill District.

On the first day the building reopens, the library hours will be from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., with identical hours every Monday and Wednesday. The branch will also be open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be closed on Thursdays and Sundays.

District 1 Councilor Cathy Schoen, who represents the part of town where the library is located, said at a Town Council meeting earlier in January that there is much anticipation for the branch’s reopening, as well as a willing group of donors who will help purchase chairs so the meeting room can be usable. The project also included creating a larger parking lot to the rear, where people will enter the building, landscaping and removal of an old service station.

A ribbon-cutting is likely later this year for when the weather is appropriate for an outdoor gathering.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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