SEA BRIGHT LIBRARY RAZING SPARKS DEBATE
On Sunday, a backhoe sat on the slab where the library had stood until it was demolished a day earlier. Below, an architect’s rendering of a proposed combination library and bathing pavilion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
In 2011, when concept plans for a remodeled Sea Bright municipal parking lot were drawn up, town officials assured residents that the library building had been left off by accident. It’s not going to be torn down, they said.
Last June, when the council approved spending $70,000 to repair damage to the structure caused by Hurricane Sandy seven months earlier, the action was touted on the borough government’s Resource Center website under the headline, “Sea Bright Library to be Rebuilt.”
But last month, the borough council abruptly reversed course, deciding the library had to go. And on Saturday, the building was hastily demolished, blindsiding supporters who were racing to save it and triggering a debate on social media about the significance of the simple frame structure.