New Kennett Library Receives $ 1.9 Million In State Funding As Construction Begins – Daily Local

KENNETT SQUARE – A new, state-of-the-art $ 21 million library in Kennett Square received a major boost last week when lawmakers awarded $ 1.9 million for its construction, which began on Monday.

The funds were awarded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, which is administered by the Bureau of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural improvement projects , civic, recreational and historical. The funds are in addition to the $ 1 million state grant awarded to the library in 2019.

The Kennett Library received a $ 1.9 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) for the construction of the new Kennett Library and Resource Center. This is in addition to the $ 1 million RACP grant the state gave the library in 2019.

Heavy machinery is used to build a new Kennett Library and Resource Center. (FRAN MAYE – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

“A new library has been in the works for 20 years and it is now a reality for the Kennett community,” said Jeff Yetter, Chairman of the Kennett Library Board of Trustees. “We thank all of our state officials who worked to fund this transformational project for South Chester County.”

The Kennett Library Board of Trustees will now begin the process of determining how best to apply the RACP award to support construction of the new library building on State and Willow streets. A grand opening is scheduled for spring 2023.

“This project is part of an initiative to provide additional educational opportunities in southern Chester County,” said State Representative Craig Williams. “When the library presented its plan for a building that would also serve as a community resource center, I was immediately won over by the idea. I’m glad our regional legislative team was able to come together for the greater Kennett area. I was proud to extend my voice for this project, and look forward to having this much-needed resource in our community.

Sappey said the new library will benefit not only Kennett Square, but the entire region.

“The facility will provide a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient building with event space, auditorium and multi-purpose rooms for public gatherings and educational programs,” she said. “Many individuals and groups have come together to make this modern library a reality. It’s a testament to the people and the creativity here, so I’m grateful for their efforts and very happy that this funding will help make a dream come true in our community.

State Senator Carolyn Comitta said, “Bringing money back to our communities is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job, and I am delighted to have worked to provide so much funding for vital projects. like the new Kennett Library ”.

State Senator John Kane said, “This library is more than just a place to browse books – it will be a community gathering place for everyone in Kennett Square. I am so proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure this funding and can’t wait to see it come to life.

The new 31,485 square foot library will feature an Avondale brown stone exterior with an abundance of natural light. It will include a Bayard Taylor lounge with fireplace, four classrooms for collaborative learning, a maker space for adults and children, four private lessons and eight computer terminals accessible to people with reduced mobility.

But the best part of the library will be the 110-seat auditorium where patrons can see first-run movies, attend TED talks, or hold city meetings. It is even capable of hosting intimate concerts.

The new library will be 2 1/2 times the size of the current library. There will be 19 parking spaces reserved for library users in addition to street parking. Currently, there are no spaces dedicated to the library.

Near the parking lot there will be a large retaining track 12 feet high by 100 feet long which will be adorned with artwork depicting the heritage of Kennett Square, including the Underground Railroad, Herb Pennock, l mushroom industry and the horse industry.

Construction has started on the new $ 21 million Kennett Library. (FRAN MAYE – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

The library will also feature a huge outdoor patio overlooking State Street on the second floor, above the auditorium.

State Representative Dan Williams said, “This project is part of an initiative to provide additional educational opportunities in southern Chester County. When the library presented its plan for a building that would also serve as a community resource center, I was immediately won over by the idea. I’m glad our regional legislative team was able to come together for the greater Kennett area. I was proud to extend my voice for this project, and look forward to having this much-needed resource in our community.

State Representative Craig Williams said the fundraising windfall will benefit residents of southern Chester County.

“This project is part of an initiative to provide additional educational opportunities in southern Chester County,” said Williams. “When the library presented its plan for a building that would also serve as a community resource center, I was immediately won over by the idea. I’m glad our regional legislative team was able to come together for the greater Kennett area. I was proud to extend my voice for this project, and look forward to having this much-needed resource in our community.

A fundraising campaign to raise funds started a year ago and has already raised $ 13.5 million and special events planned throughout next year should help raise more money. Those interested in helping the library achieve its goal can find out more about this project at campaign4kennettlibrary.com.

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