WINTHROP — C.M. Bailey Public Library, soon to be a century old, is slated for a new roof.

A $74,282 grant from the Communities for Maine’s Future program, and a matching amount from the library’s board of trustees endowment fund, should be enough to pay for a new slate roof, said Richard Fortin, library director.

Funding was approved by state voters in June 2010. The grant is for municipalities who need help with projects that support a public purpose, with emphasis placed on collaboration with private sector and non-profit partners. Town officials found out they got the grant in September.

Fortin said a cost estimate for the work from a company specializing in replacing slate roofs was about $150,000.

The Town Council is expected to formally accept the grant at its Nov. 7 meeting, and the job will go out to bid.

The need is pressing, according to Fortin, who hopes the new roof can be done in the spring.


“With Hurricane Irene, I had to come into work a couple hours early because I knew the roof would be leaking water,” Fortin said. “I have to put buckets in a couple different spots.”

Pieces of slate have been falling off the roof — a major safety concern, he said — and in a heavy rain, water penetrates the masonry near the roof and leaks into the ground-floor children’s room.

Fortin and trustees Mary Jane Auns, Amy Cookson and Elizabeth Sienko applied for the grant, and got support from the Town Council.

The library, at the corner of Bowdoin and Summer streets, was designed by Maine architect John Calvin Stevens. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Fortin said a roof replacement cannot wait until the library’s expansion, which has been planned for some time and is just entering a fundraising phase. However, he said the roof will coordinate with the addition design.

The addition, which is to be on the site of the town-owned Masonic Hall, is expected to cost about $1.3 million.

Fortin said the library board is working with Ovation Fundraising Counsel LLC, a Bangor-based firm, and has starting forming committees.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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