Construction to begin next week at $ 21 million library in Kennett Square – Daily Local
KENNETT SQUARE – Construction on the new $ 21 million Kennett Library and Resource Center will begin next week at the corner of State and Willow streets.
The New Building Committee, led by library trustees Brad Peiper and Loren Pearson, has finalized a deal with the library’s construction management company, EDiS, which paves the way for the start of the construction process.
“In these uncertain times, we wanted to make sure that EDIS and the Library agree on a maximum price for the building. The Maximum Guaranteed Price amendment ensures that our costs will not exceed $ 21.1 million, allowing the price to drop if material prices do not increase as we anticipate, ”said Peiper.
Construction of the 31,485 square foot building is expected to take approximately 14 months and a grand opening is slated for February 2023.
“Brad and his team have worked diligently with our attorney, Joe Riper and our owners representative, Matt Eskridge, for long hours to make this happen,” said Jeff Yetter, chair of the library board. “After more than 20 years of testing, the library will finally build a new, state-of-the-art facility to serve the community for the next 50 years.”
Earlier this week, the Kennett Library received $ 1.9 million in state funding under the Capital Redevelopment Assistance Program.
“I am extremely pleased with the approval of this grant,” said State Representative Christiana Sappey. “The Kennett Library serves many townships in the Kennett area and this project takes into account how we work and learn together now. 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. 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 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.
The library will have 22 full-time and part-time staff – five more than currently.
A fundraising campaign to raise funds started a year ago and has already raised $ 13.5 million. Residents who wish to help the library achieve its goal can find out more about this project at campaign4kennettlibrary.com.
The library will feature an Avondale Brownstone 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.
The library will also feature a huge outdoor patio overlooking State Street on the second floor, above the auditorium.
For the first time, the Adult Literacy Program, which helps non-English speakers learn English, earn graduate degrees and U.S. citizenship, will have its dedicated classroom, with its own space for learning. office. Currently, library officials must pay high schools for the use of their rooms for this service, a saving of about $ 3,000 per year.
Last year, the library served around 113,000 people, and library officials say the new library would likely serve double that number, drawing people to town and helping local businesses.