Library opens new entrance, parking lot

Library opens new entrance, parking lot

Greenville Public Library Director Dorothy Swain and Board of Trustees President Stephen Cicilline cut a green ribbon signifying the opening of the expanded parking lot and entrance to the library off Pleasant View Avenue on Sunday. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – The Greenville Public Library celebrated years of preparation, grant writing and construction during a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the expanded parking lot and new Pleasant View Avenue entrance on Sunday.

Dozens of town officials and friends of the library attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the library, located at 573 Putnam Pike, on a chilly Sunday morning.

In total, the library added 55 spaces to the horseshoe-shaped parking lot for a total of 98 parking spaces. Handicapped spaces are moved to the front and right of the building.

The original lot was expanded in the back to leave the valued sequoia and dogwood trees in the front entrance intact in a “Central Park-like” island, as Library Director Dorothy Swain describes it.

Construction began in July 2018 and ran only a few weeks behind schedule, according to Swain. She said some changes were made to the original plan, which was formed about a decade ago, including the removal of a sidewalk alongside the new entrance off Pleasant View Avenue.

Town Manager Randy Rossi said the grade of the hill up to the library to the new entrance is too steep to be ADA compliant, and the library hopes to secure more grant funding to install a sidewalk in the future.

A $700,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation paid for the lot expansion and new entrance. The library also purchased a home in 2011 at 9 Pleasant View Ave. to accommodate the new entrance.

Greenville Library Board of Trustees President Stephen Cicilline spoke during the ceremony, thanking all whohelped the project happen, including the Town Council, Greenville Library employees, town employees and the Champlin Foundation.

“Today, we on the Library Board celebrate what we worked for many years to achieve,” Cicilline said. “The goal to accommodate easier, safer access to the library.”

He added that Swain acted as a clerk of the works and was instrumental in the whole process by holding weekly meetings with contractors during construction to ensure everything went as planned.

Swain said the area surrounding the lot will undergo additional landscaping in the spring, planting trees and other greenery to replace the approximately 100 trees that needed to be removed for the project. She said there will be approximately 100 New England native and indigenous plantings, such as butterfly bushes and evergreens, added for buffers along Spring Avenue.

Swain said the library is also offering the purchase of namesakes benches for the new parking lot and square. Those interested may contact Swain at 401-949-3630.

Next, Swain said the library is taking a broader look at the library as a whole to consider a building redesign. She said the Rhode Island Office of Innovation and Technology will come to the library to provide a set of “fresh eyes” for the library’s needs and potential.