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UPDATED: Manchester Business Leaders Throw Support Behind Library Expansion, School Repairs

The town's chamber of commerce endorsed funding for school repairs and an expanded downtown library Tuesday.

Updated, 3:10 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10

The Downtown Manchester Special Services district has also announced its support of the $12.5 million Mary Cheney Library expansion, sending out a flyer advocating for funding. 

The flyer is attached to this story as a PDF. 

Original Story

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce threw its support behind $4.9 million in school repairs and an additional $12.5 million expansion of the Mary Cheney Library Tuesday, both of which will appear on the ballot of a referendum on Election Day come November. 

“For Manchester to continue to be a community where people want to live and raise their families, and where businesses want to locate, Manchester must make the education of our children a top priority, just as earlier generations of town residents have done in the past," Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce President Sue O'Connor said in a statement Tuesday. "While we had hoped that a bonding plan for the town’s educational needs could have come after the SMARTR committee’s findings had been published, discussed, and approved, we respect the opinion of those who believe that this funding is urgently needed for critical repairs that cannot be responsibly delayed."

O'Connor said the $12.5 million Mary Cheney Library expansion could also be viewed as an educational issue, and noted that together the two referendum items should boast the Manchester economy, which in turn would boost tax revenue to help offset the costs to residents. 

“Having great schools but then failing to give our town’s students and knowledge-seeking residents convenient access to the reference resources they need is a contradiction,” O’Connor said. “Despite the hard work and dedication of our library staff and volunteers, the town’s needs have simply grown too great to be met by the existing facility.”

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Both items will appear on the ballot in Manchester on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

leslie frey October 11, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Jerry, The closing of Nathan Hale certainly did have something to do with the spending of $14 million on Highland Park. The town leaders chose not to spend $1 million to fix the 90 yr old boilers. They knew those boliers were old 10, 20, 30 yrs ago. A "bucket if ashes"? I don't think so!!! Bring back our neighborhood school to the East Side where it belongs with the children of greatest need!! I don't wnat to see it as anything else. OT? not sure what you mean. There was discussion regarding changing the town slogan in a so-called effort to bring more business downtown and it is my understanding that the Chamber was in fact involved. Don't forget the elderly and infirm do vote-often by absenttee ballot. NO ONE should be asked to cross Center Street to get to the library!!! This plan is wrong for so many reasons. The fact is the plan's answer to the majority of parking spaces will be across Center Street. People will be taking their lives in their hands attempting to cross there-very poor planning!!! And sorry to say, Brian, but it is you who is ignoring the facts... VOTE NO REF. # 1 NOV. 6 - We have to find a better way!!!
leslie frey October 11, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Instead of tearing down the former YS building (and at what addtional cost?) why not move the CD's & DVD's there, show movies during the day and then our unfortuante citizens with no where else to go would have a place to go rather than bother patrons of the library and our Main Street patrons. Also utilize the currently vacant Cheney School building for all the other programming currently using space in the library- We need to think outside the box on this one and not just follow our "leaders".
Cindy Lea October 11, 2012 at 07:09 PM
The residents of Manchester can't afford this library expansion. Our schools are falling apart and they need to be updated. 12.5 Million? It will cost more than that when they start asking for change orders which always occurs on any construction project. Times are tough and a better plan should be brought to the table. Our Directors should visit Glastonbury's Welles Turner library. Construction was on its current footprint by expanding upward. More referendums will be coming in the next few years to repair our schools. Referendums will be coming for paving projects, etc. There are many people on fixed incomes who can't afford more taxes. It will cost more than $32/year, just wait and see. Center Memorial Park needs to be preserved. There isn't much green space left in this town and once they pave it over it's gone for good.
Denise lheurex October 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM
VOTE NO on the library expansion. There is a better way without risking life and limb crossing Center St. Ttraffic congestion will kill downtown because of the congestion will worsen. The parking is right next to a fire house. If it was a friend having a heart attack, burning house ETC, I would not want to put them, the firemen (our heroes) or library patrons at risk. I also was shocked beyond belief when yesterday I was told by an Illing High School history teacher that the 23 millionto fix the schools is just the tip of the iceberg. He stated that it cost 14 million for Highland Park and said to me “you do the math” for the rest of repairs. I talked to him at the Town of Manchester Democratic Election site on Main St. I stated that the Save the Park Committee was for repairing our schools but he just brushed that comment off like a piece of lint. He also stated that all books should be at the senior center since only the old people read them. He knocked the Manchester Historical Society as well. What an impression he made on me. While he praised West Minister Abbey and the feel of opening the door, I wonder if he ever consider that in 500 years the buildings he knocked the Historical Society trying to save for future generations might well be Manchester's West Minister Abbey. Did he not think of what the American Indians accomplished million of years ago and how many National and State Parks there are in their honor?
Denise lheurex October 17, 2012 at 04:39 PM
VOTE NO on the library expansion. There is a better way without risking life and limb crossing Center St. If anything, traffic congestion will kill downtown since there was no traffic study done and it does sit next the parking is right next to a fire house. If it was a friend having a heart attack, burning house or other emergency, I would not want to put them, the firemen (our heroes) or library patrons at risk. The center or town will be like the mall, a place to avoid. I was shocked beyond belief when yesterday I was told by an Illing High School history teacher that the 23 Million is just the tip of the iceberg to fix our schools. He stated that it cost 14 million for Highland Park and “you do the math” for the rest of repairs. I talked to him at the Town of Manchester Democratic Election site on Main St. I stated that the Save the Park Committee was for repairing our schools. He stated that all books should be at the senior center since the old people were the only ones that read them. He knocked the Manchester Historical Society as well. What an impression he made on me. While he praised West Minister Abbey and the feel of opening the door, I wonder if he ever consider that in 500 years the buildings he knocked the Historical Society for future generations might well be own West Minister Abbey. Did he not think of what the American Indians accomplished million of years ago and how many National and State Parks there are in their honor?

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