How was Shaw Farm chosen as the site?
There is no room for expansion at the current site so it was immediately discounted as a choice. Two sites were considered carefully by the Library Building Needs Committee: the Shaw Farm site and 14 Uxbridge Road. The advantages of the Uxbridge Road site were being near the current Library location and being owned by the Town. A Library near the Municipal Complex would add to the ‘Town Center’ feel of the Town Common. This site was removed from consideration when the soil proved unable to support a septic system.
The chosen site, part of a 132 acre parcel owned by the Town, is referred to as the Shaw Farm site. The area where the project will be located is a relatively flat open area at the end of Shaw Lane. This site is as equidistant from the public school system as is the current library, an important consideration. Currently the Shaw Farm site is home to wilderness trails but future development could include track and field facilities. The Library project is viewed as an anchor building for future development for the site. Geotechnical testing, civil engineering, and percolation reports all returned very favorable results for construction on the Shaw Farm site.
The Building Needs Committee also evaluated several existing structures in Sutton. The sites would have needed significant renovations in order to be ADA compliant, and to support the weight of books in the upper stories. When the Building Needs Committee visited previously completed projects in other towns, it was noted that renovations were significantly more expensive per square foot than new construction. Further, the Center locations such as the “Beehive” and the “Brick Block” would not have provided the parking spaces required for the new Library. Water and Septic would also have been an issue at these locations.