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Monday, June 30, 2014

Nashua Public Library planning new look for outdoor plaza

NASHUA – Aldermen will consider a proposal Wednesday from the Nashua Public Library to renovate the plaza outside the facility, adding new plants and solar lights and relocating artwork created through the city’s International Sculpture Symposium.

The Finance Committee on Wednesday will hear a request to award a $16,010 renovation contract to Saints Landscaping & Irrigation in Nashua. ...

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NASHUA – Aldermen will consider a proposal Wednesday from the Nashua Public Library to renovate the plaza outside the facility, adding new plants and solar lights and relocating artwork created through the city’s International Sculpture Symposium.

The Finance Committee on Wednesday will hear a request to award a $16,010 renovation contract to Saints Landscaping & Irrigation in Nashua.

Money would come from funds escrowed for property services and fines for lost and damaged books from the previous year.

The plaza between the library and the building at 14 Court St. has become unsafe, and its layout and “general disrepair” has made it a popular spot for skateboarders, according to a memo from Chief Financial Officer John Griffin.

“They want to clean up the front of the building,” said Alderman at Large David Deane, who also serves on the library’s Board of Trustees. “That’s one of the things they wanted to get their hands around. It’s just been an ongoing issue ... with loitering by folks.”

The renovation plan calls for removing the existing concrete stairs in the plaza and replacing them with planters containing “hardy native plants,” according to Griffin’s memo. The plant list includes dwarf maiden grass, dwarf fountain grass, inkberry holly, juniper, Siberian iris, shasta daisies and forsythias.

The city will supply 10 boulders to be located around the plaza. The job also entails adding used granite curb features to discourage skateboarding. The area containing the library’s sign will be surrounded with new plants, as well two new solar lights mounted on black, 14-foot poles.

“It’s going to look nice when it’s done,” Deane said.

The city solicited bids for the project from five landscaping firms in New Hampshire. Proposals ranged from the low bid of $19,750 from Saints to a high bid of $45,900 from a firm in Francestown.

The project will be less expensive than originally thought because installation of fencing and light poles was removed from the scope of work, dropping the price to a little more than $16,000.

The work is slated to finish by Sept. 30, under a proposed contract with Saints.

The project comes as library trustees continue to plan a renovation of the Mabel Chandler East Wing. Deane said in recent discussions, trustees have been exploring the possibility of revamping the project to include renovating parts of the west wing as well to create new meeting space. Among other things, the west wing houses multimedia and is currently underutilized, Deane said.

“We’re going to try to find some funding to make that area more user friendly and basically have more use than what it’s getting now,” he said.

The Finance Committee is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the aldermanic chamber at City Hall.

Jim Haddadin can be reached at 594-6589 or jhaddadin@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Haddadin on Twitter (@Telegraph_JimH).