In an effort to move forward with plans to renovate the children’s section of the Easton Public Library, the town is looking for volunteers to serve on the Library’s Building Committee.

The project will address mainly a noise issue that arises when children play in this section, which does not have any separation from the rest of the building.

The committee was formed in 2017 with seven members. Selectman Kristi Sogofsky, who is a member of the committee, said an architect drew up plans and the project went out to bid. However, the estimates were much higher than what was expected and the project was put on hold. During the pandemic, the committee became inactive and several members dropped out.

“As it stands now, there were four people out of seven that were still on it, including myself,” said Sogofsky at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen last week. “I think the other three have expressed interest in continuing to serve on the committee, but the library board was interested in putting out a call for people, particularly those who have a background in design or architecture or building.”

The original project called for closing in the back patio, making it part of the building and expanding the children’s section out to that space, said Library Director Lynn Zaffino. Part of the plan also called for building a study room but within the original footprint of the library.

Some of the original bids were more than $1 million. These did not include a cushion for items such as cost overruns.

“Everything is more expensive now,” said Zaffino. “Prices have gone up on everything, so we know that we would not be able to do what we originally planned to do.”

She said that the library is now in the beginning stages of getting some ideas of scaled-down versions of the project, such as not adding on to the building but perhaps some remodeling in the existing building, specifically in the children’s wing.

Located on Morehouse Road, the library was built in 1996. Eight years ago, some changes were made to the conference room, including the addition of a bathroom and an external door, which would allow use after normal hours and keep it locked off from the rest of the building.

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