Honoring their commitment to raise private funds for the Jones Library renovation and expansion project, the nonprofit Friends of the Jones Libraries this week remitted $500,000 to the town of Amherst. “We are pleased to be able to make this first installment towards our collaborative effort to renovate and expand the Jones Library,” said Friends of the Jones Libraries Board Chair Nancy Campbell.
Costs for the $36.3 million Jones Library Building Project are shared by the town of Amherst, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), and the Jones Library Trustees. Last November, Amherst voters affirmed the Amherst Town Council’s decisive 10-2 vote to allocate $15.8 million for the project. The MBLC has awarded Amherst $13.8 million. The remainder will be raised through grants from foundations, financial institutions, local, state, and federal grants and private donations through a collaborative capital campaign between the Jones Trustees and the Friends of the Jones Libraries nonprofit organization.
The Jones Library Building Project is currently in the building design phase with the town-appointed building committee actively seeking public input for the architectural plans. The renovation and expansion groundbreaking is anticipated in October 2023. When complete, the renovation and expansion will make the Jones Library one of the most climate-friendly buildings in Amherst, restoring most of the original 1928 building, expanding programming space to meet current and emerging needs, while improving the layout to be fully accessible for people with disabilities and more functional for everyone.