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Panel to study upgrading Woburn library

WOBURN -- As a result of a recent meeting with the Board of Library Trustees, Mayor Thomas L. McLaughlin this week established a committee to explore renovation and expansion of the city's library, which was built in 1879 and has not been renovated since.

Woburn has been given preliminary approval for a $4.1 million state construction grant and sits 20th on the list of communities awaiting money, with the grant likely to be issued in the next few years, library director Kathleen O'Doherty said.

The grant is contingent on the city's coming up with the rest of the money for the roughly $16 million project through public and private sources, she said. The joint committee, which will include the mayor and representatives of the library board and City Council, will look at developing more detailed renovation plans and refining the cost of the project, the mayor said.

"There's certainly no commitment yet," McLaughlin said, calling it a first step at a financially uncertain time.