Architect hired for Wilder Library expansion

Weston’s Wilder Memorial Library Board of Trustees has selected Foster Architecture of Weston to lead the library’s expansion project.

Deborah Granquist, library board chair, said, “We sent Requests for Proposals to architects throughout Vermont. We narrowed the responses down to four firms whose proposals met our goals. Through a series of interviews and visits, Ryan Foster’s firm’s experience and technical expertise made them our first choice.” Foster is the principal architect in the firm.

The expansion project involves the design and construction of up to 2,000 square feet of new space and an update to the 200-year-old, 1,000-square-foot building. “Ryan Foster has significant and long experience with the renovation and expansion of historic buildings. Working with the library board and a design and building committee, the project will make sure that the community’s goals are met while preserving the historic features of the existing building,” Granquist said.

The Wilder Library’s interior is an architectural gem, but the building lacks a bathroom, meeting space and running water.  ADA accessibility is limited, and there is only one parking space.

In a series of public forums and surveys in 2021 and 2022, the Weston community was asked what it
would like to see in an expanded library. Beyond a bathroom, running water, ADA accessibility and more parking, the survey results also asked for meeting spaces for adults and young people, more room for programs – especially children’s programs – and enhanced technology. But the small size of the library and the less than one-tenth of an acre plot it stands on made water, septic and expansion nearly impossible.

In 2022, the Friends of the Weston Community Inc., a non-profit organized to support Weston charitable projects, was able to purchase the so-called Riverside property, a half-acre parcel adjacent to the library. The Friends have dedicated the property to the library, and that has made the expansion possible. The Friends will continue to be involved in the expansion through fund-raising and project oversight.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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