The work of a consultant to move a new library project forward is underway and a pair of public meetings are coming up to set things in motion.

HBM Architects will host two meetings, at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 30, at Newton Public Library, 720 Oak. The meetings are intended to gather public input for site selection of a new facility.

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

HBM will be charged with site selection — scheduled to be completed in November — 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.

According to the meeting minutes, because of HBM Architects' extensive experience with library projects and detailed ranking process for site selection, the committee was interested in hiring the firm. The fundraising sub-consultant of Swanson House that WDM Architects teamed up with "was impressive and the committee asked if these two consultants could work together on the project."

The cost of the project would be about $1.45 million, which would be split into four phases. Those phases were Phase 1: Site selection (Sept. through Nov.) costing $35,000 and paid by the city; Phase 2: Feasibility review and concept development (Oct. through Feb.), costing $254,000 and paid by the Library; Phase 3: Public campaign (Feb. 2020 through Nov. 2021), costing $276,000 and paid by the Library; and Phase 4: Construction drawings/design and bidding (Dec. 2021 through Oct. 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.