SEA BRIGHT: The search for a temporary home for the borough’s library is still ongoing.
While the plan to build a new library in the beach pavilion seems set in stone, there are two options for a temporary location.
Mayor Dina Long said the original plan was to place a “double-wide” trailer in the newly-completed municipal parking lot and have that serve as the temporary home of the library. That was scheduled to be completed by this spring, but the paving of the municipal parking lot and the beginning of the summer season delayed the project.
However, Long said there are also some who do not want a trailer placed in the lot, so the borough is also looking at leasing temporary space as an alternate plan.
“We are evaluating the costs of all the options,” Long said. “I’m trying to make the most financially-prudent decision.”
The original borough library, known as the J.W Ross Cultural Arts Center, was located on the corner of Ocean Avenue and River Street at the entrance to the beach in downtown Sea Bright.
Unfortunately, during Hurricane Sandy, a section of the roof from the original part of the building blew off and a car went through the back of it.
Long said the destruction of the library was felt by all in the community.
“People were and are very attached to the library, myself included,” Long said.
Long said there was “a lot of back and forth” on whether or not the library should be demolished. The council originally decided to restore the building, but repair estimates upwards of $200,000 changed that decision and it was torn down in January.
“The construction estimates to repair the library were very high,” she said. “Rather than rebuilding, the decision was made to consolidate with another municipal building.”
“When the council decided to consolidate, the demolition happened very quickly and the council made a commitment to open a temporary library,” she continued.
The space chosen for the library is located in the proposed beach pavilion which would be located near the recently-completed municipal parking lot.
The first floor of the pavilion would be used for storage of beach vehicles, the second floor would house the borough’s new library and public bathrooms and that the third floor would serve as a lifeguard headquarters and also contain rentable space. The pavilion plans are before CAFRA (Coastal Area Facility Review Act), which must give the borough its approval before any plans can be finalized.