It’s Really Happening!
The Library purchased the 11-acre property on Moe Road from Elmer Tourtellot, who had raised pumpkins on the property. At the completion of the transaction, he told Board of Trustees President Christene Thurston that his wife had wished that the property could be sold as a church, school, or library. “We’ll build a library that will make the Tourtellot family proud,” Christene said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the structure. And they did.
Investigations of the proposed location produced evidence of a Middle Archaic cultural period (ca. 6000-4000 BC) site on part of the property which is now a wetland buffer. A number of artifacts were found by Landmark Archaeology, Inc. during the summer of 2005.
By June, 2005, the selected builder, Bovis Lend Lease, was ready to get to work on the new structure. Town officials and Board members gathered for a ceremony. After short speeches by Jo Piracci, Library Director; Christene Thurston, Board President; and Town officials, the ground was broken for the building construction to begin.
The Topping-Off Ceremony
A “topping-off” ceremony held later in the year meant a lot to staff and Board members. They could finally see the size and shape of their new library! After they signed their names to the final steel beam, it was hoisted into place and topped with a small tree.
The Board of Trustees had not forgotten the “Pioneers” of the library organization. An invitation was extended to past trustees and Library supporters to come for a sneak preview six weeks before the building opened. As part of the program, Library Director Jo Piracci charted the Library’s growth into a mainstream community institution that served 75% of the population of the two served towns. Board member Ed Rodger, who with his wife, Francine, had been with the Library since its very beginnings, reminded them of historic milestones along the way.
And – at Last! - Opening Day
December 11, 2006, is a day staff, friends and Trustees will never forget. Excitement built as a crowd gathered in the lobby near a tape blocking them from going further. ”We dedicate this building to the residents of Clifton Park and Halfmoon and to those citizens who nurtured the Library over the last 37 years. We finally have a Library properly sized for today’s demands with room to grow in the future,” said Board President Christene Thurston. The green ribbon was cut by a senior library patron, Mary Shopmyer of Clifton Park, and Miranda Curto (daughter of Board member Debbie Curto) and James Jordan (son of Board Member Daphne Jordan), both of Halfmoon.
Trustee Debbie Curto shares her memories of the public response to the new building with librarian Gail Winters.