Months of anticipation will come to a close next week, and the community will get its first peek at a proposed new public library while also finding out the cost of the project.

The concept design for a new Newton Public Library building will be revealed during a joint work session of the Newton City Commission and Newton Public Library Board of Trustees at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 26.

In order to facilitate social distancing, the meeting will be held at the Meridian Center, 1420 E. Broadway Court. The public is encouraged to attend in person, or watch via live video stream at

“Come see how your comments, suggestions and sticky notes have translated into a concept design for a new NPL building,” said Marianne Eichelberger, library director.

Architect Peter Bolek, president of HBM Architects, will present the concept design, along with financial estimates. He will also discuss costs and benefits associated with renovation of Newton Public Library's current building. Discussion among members of the library board and city commission will follow the presentation.

In December, the city commission selected Military Park as the best site for a new library, based on feedback from two community meetings evaluating potential locations. In February, Bolek led two more community meetings seeking public feedback about designs and potential uses of a new building.

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HBM Architects was selected at a special meeting of the Newton City Commission and library task force in September.

HBM was charged with site selection, a feasibility review, concept development, a public funding campaign, construction drawings and design of a new library facility.

If each phase of the HBM project is successful, bidding for construction would occur in October 2022.

The cost of the consulting and fundraising is estimated at about $1.45 million, split into four phases. Those phases were Phase 1: Site selection (September through November 2019) costing $35,000 and paid by the city; Phase 2: Feasibility review and concept development (October 2019 through February 2020), costing $254,000 and paid by the Library; Phase 3: Public campaign (February 2020 through November 2021), costing $276,000 and paid by the Library; and Phase 4: Construction drawings/design and bidding (December 2021 through October 2022), costing $880,000 and paid by the city.

If fundraising needs to exceed $2 million, then it will cost an additional $72,000 for another six months of assistance from Swanson House.