‘Amazing’ donation of trellis beautifies Pittsfield Public Library

Posted April 12, 2011, at 4:54 p.m.
Last modified April 12, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Fundraising and construction on a $1.4 million expansion of Pittsfield Public Library was completed last year, but an additional donation Tuesday by Walpole Woodworkers added another flourish to an already stately structure, according to library officials.

The rear exterior wall of the library was solid green until Walpole constructed and donated a 10-by-12-foot trellis that matches windows on the historic portion of the library.

Joel Gagnon, Walpole’s production supervisor, said the company is well-known for its decorative trellises, but this one is the largest it has ever constructed.

“We’re proud of the fact we can operate our business in Pittsfield,” said Gagnon. “This is our way to help beautify the town.”

Walpole Woodworkers, which has plants in Pittsfield and Detroit employing about 120 people, is headquartered in Massachusetts and has a customer base that spans the East Coast and beyond.

Ann McGowan, president of the library’s fundraising committee, called the donation “incredibly generous.”

“It’s an amazing gift,” she said Monday as workers delivered the trellis. Librarian Lyn Smith and next-door neighbor Brent Newhouse agreed.

“It will really soften that wall,” Smith said. “Before it was just a big expanse of green.”

“It sure looks a lot better than what used to be there,” said Newhouse, referring to a home that was razed for the library project.

The idea for the donation came about from discussions between library officials and Robert Hayes, vice president of Walpole’s manufacturing division. The trellis is made of cellular vinyl, which means it will be maintenance-free for many years. McGowan said the Pittsfield Garden Club is exploring options for vines or flowers, which over time will climb the structure.

The trellis will be attached to the building by local builder Doug Frati of Palmyra in cooperation with workers from the town crew.