WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/856603

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Page 107 of 219

the new Field School had been constructed. The Department of Envi ronmental Affairs ruled that the library is on the same town owned par cel as the three elementary schools, community center, and new police station; and that parcel had reached maximum septic capacity. Planning for a library addition came to a halt. Until that time, the library trustees were not even thinking about the Old Library. Built at the turn of the 20th century, the handsome brick Jacobethan structure had been largely vacant for decades. Two propos als for reuse of the Old Library and adjacent Josiah Smith Tavern had been rejected by Town Meeting. The controversy seemed no closer to a solution. Until the septic decision, the trustees had no interest in jump ing into the fray. That perception changed almost overnight. Joel Angiolillo, retired engineer and vice chair of the trustees, explained: "Here was a building that was not only available, but had previously been a library. It was like a light bulb went off." Angiolillo now heads the WAIC Advisory Board. The timing was serendipitous. After the second reuse proposal was rejected in 2013, Weston selectmen had appointed the Josiah Smith Tavern/Old Library working group to study alternative ideas that might meet voter approval. The working group was about to request state ments of interest from potential users. Marisa Morra, who represented the Weston Historical Commission, was looking for a use that would preserve the integrity of the oak paneled Reading Room and allow pub lic access. Town residents had expressed their desire for an arts center by strongly supporting a citizens' petition at the November 2013 Town Meeting and by selecting this option in a 2014 National Citizen's Survey. The initial idea from the library trustees was for a STEAM center combined with a home for the town's information technology depart ment. This concept was considered and abandoned, but the involve ment of Weston's I.T. czar, Lee McCanne, has continued. McCanne, who is director of technology for the Town of Weston and Weston Public Schools, is a strong supporter of the need to increase techno The reading room in the old Weston Public Library building 106 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7 Imagine the Possibilities

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