Chester has a unique opportunity to develop the town-owned, 22-acre North Quarter Park (NQP) site so that it’ll enrich Chester residents of all ages for decades to come. Plans include a safe, accessible playground, an all-purpose playing field, 50 paved parking spaces, expanded walking/nature trails, and a 21st-century library/community center, all within easy walking distance of Chester’s village center.
Rita Christopher did a fine job of covering a range of opinions about the library project in Chester (April 20 story “Where, O Where, Should the Library Be?”), but more than opinions will be needed for the town to move forward.
Two committees that’d been working separately (North Quarter Park Planning Committee and the Chester Library Building Committee) were combined by the selectmen in 2015 and tasked with developing a schematic design that would answer three needs in the town’s 2009 Plan of Conservation and Development: improvements to North Quarter Park, a replacement for the collapsed and subsequently demolished Community Center, and a new library building.
In September 2016, the combined committees passed a resolution recommending a budget of $7.4 million for the project.
The committee is planning two public presentation/input sessions: one on Thursday, May 11 at 7 p.m. and a second on Saturday, May 13 at 10 a.m., both at the Chester Meeting House.
At these we’ll present the plans for the entire redevelopment of NQP at a total construction cost of $5.5 million, and associated soft costs of $1.9 million. Of the $5.5 million construction cost, approximately $3.8 million is dedicated to the library/community center. The committee has already been awarded a state grant of $1 million toward the cost of the library and continues to explore fundraising and financing options to minimize the impact on taxpayers.
We invite all concerned citizens to attend one of these sessions.
Chester Library Building and North Quarter Park Planning Committees