As we drive by the closed and plastic-wrapped Cossitt Library Building, many of us ask the same question: “When will Cossitt re-open?”
There is not a single answer to this question as the library’s re-opening is dependent on numerous factors.
Most importantly, the Town of Granby dictates use of public spaces such as Cossitt during the pandemic. At present, with the main library only now slowly returning to full use, and a number of sector guidelines still in place, it makes sense to keep Cossitt closed.
The recent Survey and Planning Report from Architectural Preservation Studio evaluated the Cossitt building’s condition rather good overall, identified tasks that need to be addressed and prioritized those jobs. The knowledge we gained from this report is helping the Town and the Friends make informed decisions about what, when and how best to preserve and use Cossitt.
One of our goals is to help ensure that any repairs made to Cossitt are completed using Historic Restoration guidelines appropriate for a building on the National Register of Historic Places.
This process involves making repairs and changes with historic accuracy, detail and appreciation—often using specialized materials and craftsmen. The Town cannot follow such guidelines due to budget and numerous other projects on their docket.
The Survey and Planning Project was funded thanks to your donations and a Pomeroy-Brace Grant from the Hartford Foundation of Public Giving. Applying for Pomeroy-Brace Grants is made possible through the generosity of the late Seth and Lucy Holcombe.
Now, the Friends must raise funds—through donations and applying for new grants—to perform the most pressing job linked to the building’s condition: repairing previous water damage and stopping new water damage to the building. Once the funds are in place, the Library Projects Committee, composed of the Director of Library Services, Friends’ representatives, the Chair of the Granby Library Board, and the Director of Public Works, can begin this second joint Friends–Town project.
The pandemic slowed every aspect of completing the first step, the Survey and Planning Project, and COVID-19 impact continues to affect our work even now.
The good news is that we successfully completed a grant/project management process once, so we know the system. Rose Scott Long and Carl Rothbart of Architectural Planning Associates and Brad Schide of Connecticut Preservation Trust, are excellent advisors and are guiding us through these processes. Best of all, Director of Library Services Amy McCue chairs the newly formed Library Projects Committee. Her leadership and enthusiasm are contagious!
So, while it may seem that progress is slow, we are working diligently to get that plastic off!