By Kyle Stucker
Hampton-North Hampton Patch , July 2, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of Hampton-NorthHampton.patch.com
If Lane Memorial Library is going to receive an addition in the near future, it won’t be in 2014, as selectmen have put a hold on the idea in order to focus on more pressing, higher-priority land needs.
Library officials appeared in front of the Hampton Board of Selectmen Monday night to request that the board allow them to pursue engineering plans with an understanding or agreement that they could use the land freed by the demolition of the old Hampton District Court building.
Selectmen said Hampton Academy, located behind the site of the former courthouse, has greater space issues that they feel should be solved or fully explored first, even though the library is seeking an addition that would also benefit the Hampton Recreation Department and give the town a community center.
"On the grand scheme in my mind, we've got to think about the Academy and what they're going to do," said Selectman Mike Pierce, stating that the town should also "look at the roads, sewers and drains" before beginning a non-essential project like a library addition. "I think if we're going to use that parcel of land for some purpose other than for letting the trees grow... I think we ought to consider their activities first."
Selectmen Dick Nichols and Mary-Louise Woolsey both called the library's request "premature," with the former also stating that there are too many uncertainties and unknowns in the budgeting of the capital improvement plan, particularly in the Hampton Public Works Department, to begin work on another building project.
Newly-appointed Selectman Mike Plouffe said the idea is one the town "ought to look into" — but not "rush into it."
Selectman Phil Bean said the idea, which is conceptual and doesn't yet have concrete features or ideas, is "interesting" and said he's "interested in hearing more" because of the possibility of being able to incorporate multiple town functions into the space.