Edgartown breaks ground on new library

Edgartown library and town officials dug into the frozen ground Monday in a brief ceremony to mark the start of construction on the new Edgartown Free Public Library. Front and center was selectman Margaret Serpa, and to her left. selectman Art Smadbeck. — Photo by Michelle Gross

Edgartown selectmen and library officials, golden shovels in hand, kicked off the first official day of construction on the new Edgartown Free Public Library in a ceremony Monday afternoon.

“I would say that today is symbolic,” library director Jill Dugas Hughes said. “It’s symbolic of all of the effort that so many people have put forth to build a really outstanding library for our current and future generations.”

In January, Edgartown selectmen voted to accept a $7.3 million bid from Maron Construction to build the new library where the old town school was.

“We’re here to turn over this land to our construction team to take care of,” Ms. Dugas Hughes said. “We have faith in you. I know that this group is committed to see this project through.”

Celia Imrey, a New York City-based architect in charge of designing the new library, was also present for Monday’s groundbreaking.

“It’s really exciting,” Ms. Imrey said. “I’m excited to be here for this, it’s really a proud moment for everyone involved.”

In 2010, the town hired Imrey Culbert, a design partnership with a focus on museum architecture and gallery design. That partnership has since dissolved, and Ms. Imrey now runs Imrey Studio. Ms. Imrey says she enlisted the help of Jeffrey Hoover from Tappe Associates as her Massachusetts partner.

The entire community will be invited to participate in an official groundbreaking community celebration on Saturday, May 3 at 2pm.