PEPPERELL --Lawrence Library has a new sign, thanks to Boy Scout Sean Ernst.
With support from the community and his fellow members of Pepperell Boy Scout Troop 26, Ernst, a rising senior at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, designed, fundraised and organized the installation of the sign as his Eagle Scout project.
Ernst said he came up with the idea when he saw that an existing sign was falling down after a snowstorm. He asked Library Director Deb Spratt if she would be interested in getting a new sign, and she said she had been wanting one for years.
"The library is one of my favorite places. There's a lot of great stuff that goes on, and this was a great way to say thanks," Ernst said.
Mike's Signs in Lowell made the sign at cost and helped install it for free, cutting down the price significantly from earlier estimates Ernst had received.
Ernst and other volunteers, primarily members of his troop, dug a trench on July 5 to install wires and PVC piping to eventually light the sign.
"All the boys were really helpful. We had a huge turnout and got it done in four hours, just burned right through it. It made me really proud of my troop," Ernst said.
Ernst is planning to have an official lighting of the sign in August, and is hoping to also have a plaque made for the library, listing all of the donors to the project.
The project, which cost about $1,700, was paid for entirely by donations Ernst raised. No town or library funds were used to pay for the sign.
Monetary donations were made by Friends of the Library, the Pepperell Business Association, Pepperell Lions Club, the Rotary Club, North Middlesex Savings Bank and Masy Systems, Inc., as well as individuals.
Lorden's True Value donated supplies to install the sign and the lighting, while C&S Pizza provided food to sustain the Scouts as they worked.
Ernst also raised $100 toward his goal from a jar he set up in the library, in which library patrons deposited primarily $1 bills to support the project.
Ernst said the response from the community was unexpected.
"There were a bunch of groups that gave me money. I was expecting to have to do seven or eight pancake breakfasts, but people just wanted to help," he said.
He said the project couldn't have been completed without the generosity of many.
"I'm really proud of everyone who came together and helped out. Just to see all these people come out and put their all in makes me proud to be in Pepperell. It's a great town with great people," Ernst said.
Follow Chelsea Feinstein at Twitter.com/CEFeinstein.