It’s official. The Blackstone Library has met – and exceeded – its $800,000 “Campaign for the Blackstone” goal toward its long-anticipated $5.2 million renovation, pushed over the top by a $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Community Foundation.
The funding thermometer was updated Thursday afternoon for the final time at a gathering on the front lawn of the library. A purple drape was pulled down by Andrew McKirdy and Library Director Karen Jensen to reveal the goal.
Library Director Karen Jensen said groundbreaking for the renovations will take place Thursday, Dec. 6, and will take approximately one year. Renovations will increase accessibility, future programming, and community access. Jensen said that although the library will be open the whole time, the children’s department will be relocated to the auditorium. As a result, some activities will be held at Fire Headquarters on North Main St.
Andrew McKIrdy, past president of the Blackstone Trustees, noted that it was the Branford Community Foundation that kicked off the campaign, and the Greater New Haven Community Foundation that helped meet its goal.
He added that the campaign will continue to raise funds for project enhancements.
Capital campaign members are selling raffle tickets for an opportunity to name the upper rotunda art gallery. Tickets are $20; the winner will be drawn on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. at the library.
Funding from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven will be distributed over three years and was made possible through the 44-62 Fund. The name of the fund refers to the exit numbers along the I-95 corridor that denote the local communities it benefits.
In April 2018, matching gifts from over 600 members of the community were received in response to a $100,000 challenge grant from the Branford Community Foundation.
The Connecticut State Library has also committed a $1 million construction grant toward the project, bringing the library’s contribution to 34 percent of the $5.2 million estimated for the total project cost. The town of Branford will provide the balance of the funding.
For more information on the project and how to donate, go to the library’s website.