Mary Jacobs Foundation Says Construction Has Begun on a Smaller Library Branch in Rocky Hill
Posted March 8, 2023
The Mary Jacobs Foundation MJF issued a press release this week stating that it is preparing to reopen the Mary Jacobs Branch of the Somerset County Library System (SCLS) in its building at 64 Washington Street. The new library branch will be about a third of the size of the former library, which closed in May, 2022.
A rendering of the new library space in the Mary Jacobs Foundation's building on Washington Street in Rocky Hill. Image courtesy of MJF.
The building "is undergoing planned renovations in anticipation of a late spring opening," according to MJF. "The firm that MJF hired, S&K Construction, began demolition and renovations in December to the space that will be used for the new library branch."
The Mary Jacobs Memorial Library served Montgomery and Rocky Hill since 1974. It closed in May 2022 when Montgomery Township opened its own library, just a mile away from Rocky Hill. The smaller Rocky Hill branch is expected to have one full-time staff member, programming for children and adults, and physical access to books, newspapers, and magazines.
The new, smaller Mary Jacobs branch is expected to operate for at least 24 months, once it opens.
The image of the new MJF sign submitted to the Rocky Hill Planning Board shows space for two new tenants in the building.
The MJF property is located in the Community Land (CL) Zoning District. Permitted uses in the CL district include public parks, municipal offices and storage facilities, and public utilities. Conditional uses in the CL Community Land district include the following per Ordinance §80-94D(1): Public libraries, facilities for community and civic groups, cemeteries, facilities for fire and rescue emergency services owned and operated by nonprofit organizations, public and private nursery schools, and group homes serving low- and moderate-income households and in compliance with all regulations of the Council on Affordable Housing.
A separate application to the Rocky Hill Planning Board must be made if MJF's future tenants are outside the permitted or conditional uses defined in §80-94. A use variance may be required.
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Old Library Furniture Given Away to Other Non Profit Organizations
"As much as possible, the furnishings that remained in the [former Mary Jacobs Memorial Library Building] after the library contents were moved have been repurposed in other nonprofit organizations," according to MJF. "An event to celebrate the opening of the new branch is being planned. In partnership with SCLS, the MJF is excited for the opening of this new resource for the community."