Patten to build $3.9 million library

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 9:48 AM EST
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PATTEN, Maine (WABI) - The Veteran’s memorial Library in Patten had been inside the town’s old Baptist Church for over 90 years.

But in 2020 it was forced to close due to safety concerns.

In the last 11 months they’ve been housed inside the Lumberman’s museum.

“The directors of the museum were kind enough to welcome us and we take up much needed space, I’m sure, but it has been wonderful. It’s also been quite a symbiotic relationship, because we brought people in who might not have come because we have a library. And we’ve provided services for the residents here. And so we are so blessed to have them,” said Rae Bates, chairperson with the Friends of the Veteran’s Memorial Library.

But the library is once again going to have a home of its own.

“I worked closely with Matt Delaney at the Millinocket library because they too had a group and had done a lot of renovations. And as we looked through the process, we felt our only alternative was to have a new, a new facility. We, we applied through Susan Collins and are exceedingly excited of our good fortune to have such a grant,” Bates said.

That grant is just under $4 million. And it brings with it many possibilities.

As the future library looks to be a multiuse space for the community.

“It’s euphoric. I mean, and it’s also unreal, because I can’t imagine what this can... I can imagine but to see that possibly become a reality here is outstanding,” said Bates.

The library will also be shaped by the community in Patten.

As future meetings will look to get a sense of what those in the town want to get out of it.

“It’s just a very exciting opportunity to, you know, give our community things that maybe they never even realized that we would ever have the opportunity to have because we are a small community and so many people are moving out. So maybe this will also draw in people to stay since there’s things to offer them, you know, so it’s just, I don’t know, it’s just an exciting time for our town and for our library,” said library director Julie Buhler.

No date is set for completion or even construction. But those involved can’t wait to see how it shapes the area.