Historic Jesup Library in Bar Harbor readies for expansion

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BAR HARBOR, MAINE (WABI) - Demolition Day for the building next door to the Historic Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor.

The library bought the building with the idea of expanding a few years ago.

Wednesday morning, they tore it down to make room for a new facility.

"The addition is going to almost double the size of the historic building," said the Library's Executive Director, Ruth Eveland. "It's very exciting as a step forward for us. It's kind of sad to see an old building in town go, but it's higher and better use is going to be an expansion of the Jesup."

It's a case of the past meeting the present, with an eye toward what's to come, and the demolition was merely a part of Jesup's bigger picture.

"The library was first built in 1911," said Ron Beard, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the library. "That was a group of people who looked to the future, and I think that's what we're trying to do now. We had some problems with drainage, and water problems in the old building. So right now we're fundraising to make sure we take care of the old building. We've finished phase one, which was to purchase this building and pay off the mortgage. Phase two is to take care of the existing building. Phase three is the new construction."

Jesup still has some fundraising to do before construction of the new addition can be built.

They're looking to raise a total of just over seven million, and they're currently just over a quarter of the way there.

And while fundraising can sometimes seem like an uphill climb, Jesup is proving that moving forward is something they whole-heartedly embrace.

"We're prepared to meet the future," Beard said. "And I think that's what the community is excited about."