Ashland Seeks $950,000 Bond to Convert Histroric School into Town Library

ASHLAND — The Ashland Town Library will hold two open houses at the old Ashland School which the Library Trustees propose to purchase, renovate and equip as the new home of the Library.

A warrant article for a $950,000 bond issue for this purpose will be voted on at the March 11 town election. The open houses will be held at the former school, at 41 School Street, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. The open houses will give citizens the opportunity to tour the building and see how it could be used by the Town Library. Children can meet or read to Willow, the reading therapy dog, and listen to stories in what would be the new children's room. The Friends of the Ashland Town Library will serve free refreshments and hold a fund raising raffle.

The old school was built in 1877-78 as a graded school to serve the children of Ashland village. A fine example of Second Empire style architecture, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was used by the local school district until 1990, when Ashland joined the regional high school. The building received relatively little maintenance thereafter until 2008, when the school district sold it to Tri County Community Action Program. TCCAP spent over one and a quarter million dollars to restore and renovate the building and to bring it up to modern building codes. After the closing of the Ashland Headstart classroom and a housing and development office, TCCAP now finds that it no longer needs as much space as the building provides. TCCAP has agreed to see the building to the Town for $850,000. Another $100,000 will be needed for renovations, shelves and other furniture and equipment to convert the building for library use.

Ashland voters who are not familiar with the cramped conditions in the present Town Library are invited to visit the Scribner Memorial Building (41 Main Street) during regular library hours, 1 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.