Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

December 15, 2023
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin |


HARTFORD, CT – State Sen. Matt LesserState Representative Gary TurcoState Representative Kate Farrar and town leaders welcome $120,000 in state funding for renovations to Newington’s Lucy Robbins Welles Library, approved today by the State Bond Commission.

The library, originally built in 1939, will now move forward with a number of improvements to modernize the facilities, while preserving the charm of the historic building. The project involves structural changes, wiring upgrades, and furniture modifications to repurpose the space and better serve the needs of Newington residents. Specifically these funds will allow the library to:

  • Build a Multi-Language Learner Informational area, which aims to welcome and support new residents, particularly those who have recently moved to the United States and settled in Newington.
  • Improve the Quiet Study Area within the original building. The existing furniture is over 30 years old and needs replacing. The project also involves necessary structural changes and wiring upgrades to create a technology-friendly environment.
  • Upgrade the Staff Workspace, which currently does not meet the requirements of modern librarians. Renovating the Staff Workspace will provide ergonomically correct workspaces and better meet the needs of the library staff.

“I am thrilled to announce this investment in Newington’s Lucy Robbins Welles library, having worked closely with Library Director Lisa Masten to win the Governor’s support,” said State Sen. Matt Lesser. “Libraries provide an invaluable asset for their communities and I look forward to seeing the Lucy Robbins Welles Library propelled into today’s age while maintaining its historic charm. I want to thank Governor Lamont and the Bond Commission for continuing to invest in municipalities big and small, all across the state.”

“The Lucy Robbins Welles Library is grateful to Senator Matt Lesser for advocating for the library to receive these funds for structural improvements within the library and for Governor Lamont and the State Bond Commission for approving them,” said Library Director Lisa Masten. “These funds will be used to repurpose and reconfigure several areas in the library to make better use of space and to address several areas of concern within the building, all with the intent of better serving our patrons. While the library works towards the possibility of major renovation in the coming years, this money will address immediate needs with many of the changes including furniture and equipment, able to be moved and used in any future renovation plans.”

“This bond funding aims to address critically needed enhancements on the first floor of the original building and will repurpose and improve the space to better serve library patrons and staff,” said State Rep. Gary Turco (D-Newington, New Britain). “These updates are also future-proof, even in the event of major future renovations, while also preserving the character and charm of the library that I personally love. I am glad that Governor Lamont and the State Bond Commission support this funding, which will help the community enjoy the library for generations to come.”

“The state grant funding for the Lucy Robbins Welles Library will make vital improvements to the building’s aging structure. We all benefit from vibrant libraries as a source of knowledge, inspiration, and community engagement,” said Representative Kate Farrar (West Hartford, Newington). “I want to express my sincere gratitude to the State Bond Commission and Governor Lamont for investing in the Newington’s library to continue its role as a vital community resource.”

“The Town of Newington is so happy to receive this grant-in-aid for the Lucy Robbins Wells Library! We are tremendously grateful for Senator Lesser’s leadership in helping to secure this grant and we are so thankful to the state bond commission for approving the request,” said Newington Mayor Jon Trister. “The Lucy Robins Wells Library is a centerpiece of our community and this grant will help the library to complete much needed structural upgrades! Thank you all!”

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