WINTHROP — Fundraising for the library’s expansion has reached about $470,000, more than one-third of the project’s cost.

Trustee Chairwoman Mary Jane Auns is hopeful that the trustees of the Charles M. Bailey Library will be able to go out to bid next year on the $1.35 million expansion.

The fundraising campaign has been under way for slightly more than a year and is still in a relatively quiet phase, focused on charitable foundations and individuals who can afford donations of $1,000, $5,000 or more.

The next milestone that fundraisers hope to hit is $800,000 by the fall, Auns said, after which they will really start pursuing smaller donations from the community, though some are already arriving.

Auns said the campaign has been very successful in seeking grants, targeting organizations that have supported libraries in the past, and being turned down only once so far.

“We feel like we’re doing really well,” she said. “We’ve gotten close to what we’ve asked for for each one.”

Major gifts have included $94,232 from the Ida A. Morrill Trust, which was dissolved last year when the Morrill Home was sold, and $50,000 from the Boston-based Windover Foundation, which has two trustees who live in Winthrop.

The project also has received significant sums from the Falmouth-based Davis Family Foundation, the Betterment Fund, the Maine Charity Foundation and the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust in Portland.

Library Director Richard Fortin praised the fundraising team’s work in getting people excited about the expansion.

The two-story addition, to be built on the Masonic Hall property, would be the new home of the adult services and children’s libraries. The current adult services space would be divided between a teen area and a reading room, and the basement now occupied by the children’s library would be used for storage and staff offices.

Tax-deductible donations earmarked for the Bailey Library Campaign may be made to the town of Winthrop, which is holding money in a dedicated building fund.

“This’ll be a wonderful addition to the Winthrop community,” Auns said. “The library has grown tremendously through the years, becoming a real community center.”

Susan McMillan — 621-5645
smcmillan@mainetoday.com