The Town of Corinna has received a grant from the Next Generation Foundation of Maine for one million dollars to help pay for renovations, and the preservation of the Stewart Library Building. This is an incredible gift to the people of Corinna and indeed to the Central Highlands area of Maine.
The Stewart Library Building has been the focus of cultural life in this area for more than a century. Currently it houses the Corinna Town Office, the Stewart Free Library, and the Levi Stewart Private Library. The second floor auditorium and stage are used by the Levi Stewart Community Theater for plays and cultural events. However, as the building has aged and fallen out of compliance with modern accommodations, use of the building has been reduced.
With the exception of the clock tower, the building is structurally sound. The clock tower needs immediate attention. Mortar in the brick work has disintegrated and must be replaced. The voters of Corinna authorized the funds needed to address this concern. Work on the tower will begin soon.
The other work needed
1. To secure the structure from the weather, maintenance and repairs are needed for the outside brick walls, the slate roof, gutters, side entrance porches, the exterior trim and all of the windows.
2. To attain building code and ADA compliance an elevator is needed for access to the second floor. Existing restrooms must be upgraded and new ones added to the second floor. Fire protection and building security systems should be installed.
3. To improve energy efficiency, lower operating costs, and improve air quality in the building, new heating, ventilation, and electrical systems are needed.
4. Renovations and upgrades are needed in the town office, the public library, and the theater. Additional parking should be developed. The Levi Stewart Private Library collection needs proper care and preservation.
The total estimated cost for all of this work is over 2.5 million dollars. This generous grant from the Next Generation Foundation of Maine will help us accomplish a significant portion of the work needed.