The Journey to Moe Road
On December 11, 2006, the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library moved from 47 Clifton Country Road into a two-story, 55,000-square-foot building on a new location at 475 Moe Road. Designed by an architect from the community, Bill Connor, then of Woodward Connor Gillies & Seleman Architects, and constructed by Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc., the Library soon became a focal point for the two towns it serves.
Jo Piracci joined the library staff as a part-time librarian in 1976, when the Library was located on Cemetery Road. She became Library Director in the mid-1980s, and retired in 2008, a year and half after the new building opened. Here she speaks about the new building on Moe Road, in a clip from a DVD created in 2007 by Bruce Kingma, Professor of Entreprenuership, Syracuse University.
The Board of Trustees had been aware for some time of the constraints of the structure on Clifton Country Road. Its site wouldn’t allow for an addition, and even after several renovations the building didn’t meet the demands of a growing population. Children’s books were housed on shelves too high for them to reach, and the shelves were too crowded. Adult and Youth Services staff vied for the use of the one program room. There was no study space for tutors and their students, and no space for patrons seeking quiet work areas. Public computer availability was limited, and patrons often had to wait for access.
Longtime library staff member Ann Cocca speaks about the challenges posed by the building on Clifton Country Road.
Youth Services Librarian Janet Kreason tells librarian Tenaya Bannon that children's nonfiction was shelved with adult nonfiction, on very high book stacks.
Youth Services Librarian Cindy Robertson recalls the impossibility of having an adequate children's library in such a small space.
When Halfmoon joined the library tax district in 2002, the Board of Trustees began to canvass available building sites in the two towns and to evaluate architectural firms. The public was approached with a proposal for a 68,000-square-foot building at the annual budget vote in September of 2003. In the crowded library building, with long lines of residents fighting for parking and waiting to vote, the measure was defeated. Keep reading for the eventual outcome.