Claverack library, town hall, join in partnership

The Claverack court will be temporarily moved to the former library while the Town Hall building is rebuilt. The former library, pictured, is undergoing minor renovations before the court moves in. Contributed photo

CLAVERACK — The former Claverack Free Library, 629 Route 23B, will become the temporary home for the town hall and court building while the 836 state Route 217 Philmont building is demolished and rebuilt.

Minor renovations are underway at the former library, a white building at the intersection of state Route 9H and 23B.

A new wing addition will bring an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathroom to the building and a new entrance will bring the building up to code.

The state must approve the ADA improvements before the court can move in, Town Clerk Mary Hoose said Friday. The town is hoping to move in by the end of June or in July.

The court will be moved to the 1,400-square-foot white building and town meetings will be held in the library as part of the arrangement, Library Board of Trustees President Jenny Post said Friday. She described the two buildings as a campus.

The library moved from the white building next door to the former firehouse at 9 state Route 9H in October 2019, Post said. The white building has not been used since.

The library board considered several options for the white building’s future, but trustees wanted to keep the building in public use if possible, Post said. The partnership seemed like the perfect use for the time being.

The town will pay the library rent for the building and the rent will cover the improvements to the building, Post said. She called the partnership a “win-win.”

The town has to request bids before there is a time frame for the reconstruction of the existing town hall and court building, Hoose said.

“That will take some time because they have to go out for bids and have to decide on the building itself,” she said.

Hoose expects a year or year and a half before the new building is ready.

The new town hall building will also house town offices, which are currently located at 91 Church St., in Mellenville.

“This joint project provides the town a space to hold court and conduct meetings while we take the necessary steps to plan and build a new town office complex that will house the court as well as all of our offices, in addition to providing much needed community space for the public,” Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Library for their willingness to rent this building to us while we embark on this exciting project.”

Library board Vice President Stephen King spoke highly of the partnership.

“This is a wonderful partnership between the town and the library,” King said in a statement. “It will allow the court and town meetings to take place in a historic, much-loved building and the library to make improvements that will make it available for rental in the future, thus helping keep the library healthy and vibrant into the future for all.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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