KENNETT SQUARE—Ground will be broken this summer on an $18 million, state-of-the art library in downtown Kennett Square. Construction is expected to be completed in December of 2022.

“This will have a transformative effect of the region for the next 50 years," said Jeff Yetter, president of the library's Board of Trustees.

Library officials are planning for a public community celebration in late July when ground is broken for the 31,485 square foot building.

The library will be staffed by 22 full-and part-time employees -- five more than are employed currently.

A capital campaign to raise funds started a year ago and has already, raised $10 million. Residents who wish to help the Library reach it’s goal can find out more about this project at campaign4kennettlibrary.com.

The library, at State and Willow streets, will feature an Avondale Brownstone exterior with an abundance of natural light. It will feature a Bayard Taylor sitting room with fireplace, four classrooms for collaborative learning, an adult and children's maker space, four private tutor rooms, and eight computer terminals which are handicapped accessible.

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

"What separates this from traditional libraries is the auditorium," said Mary Hutchins, library spokesperson.

Hutchins said that details are still being hammered out whether local non-profits will be able to use the auditorium at no cost.

The new Library will be able to provide meeting spaces for non-profits and business that have had difficulty finding meeting spaces. "I’ve sat in bean bag chairs at Church of the Advent for a library board meeting because we dont' have enough space in our library," Yetter said. "It's crazy. "The backroom of the old Kennett Inn is where you would meet up to 10 people and you were elbow to elbow. Now, that will be gone. It's exciting."

The new library will be 2 ½ times larger than the current library. There will be 19 dedicated parking spaces for library patrons in addition to street parking. Currently, there are no spaces dedicated to the library.

Near the parking area will be a large12-foot high by 100 feet long retaining way that will be adorned with artwork representing the heritage of Kennett Square, including the Underground Railroad, Herb Penock, the Mushroom Industry and the equine industry.

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

For the first time, the Adult Literacy Program, which helps non-English speakers learn the English Language, obtain GEDs and US citizenship, will have its dedicated classroom, with its own office space. Currently, library officials must pay high schools for using their rooms for this service, a savings of about $3,000 per year.

Last year, the library served about 113,000 people, and library officials say the new library would likely serve double that number, attracting people to town and helping local businesses.

Unlike the state of Delaware, which funds 100% of the cost of build new libraries, the funds to build the new Kennett Library and Resource Center must be raised from the municipal contributions from Kennett Square Borough ,East Marlborough, Kennett Township, New Garden, Newlin, Pennsbury, Pocopson and West Marlborough, foundations, businesses and private donors.

"The new Kennett Library and Resource Center will continue the legacy that's already been established by the Kennett Library," Hutchins said. "It will serve our diverse community with more programs and classes. I think it will add to the economic development of southern Chester County by increasing visitorship with numerous community meetings and events."

“The Pennsylvania Library Association did a study and found that every dollar invested in a library brings back 5.5 dollars to the community,” Yetter said. The average person benefits $150 to $200 a year in free services. It’s unbelievable"

KENNETT SQUARE—Ground will be broken this summer on an $18 million, state-of-the art library in downtown Kennett Square. Construction is expected to be completed in December of 2022.

"This will change the community like nobody's business," said Jeff Yetter, president of the library's Board of Trustees.

Library officials are planning for a public community celebration in late July when ground is broken for the 31,485 square foot building.

The library will be staffed by 22 full-and part-time employees -- five more than are employed currently.

A capital campaign to raise funds will begin shortly. Already, $10 million has been raised.

The library, at State and Willow streets, will feature an Avondale Brownstone exterior with an abundance of natural light. It will feature a Bayard Taylor sitting room with fireplace, four classrooms for collaborative learning, an adult and children's maker space, four private tutor rooms, and eight computer terminals which are handicapped accessible.

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

"What separates this from traditional libraries is the auditorium," said Mary Hutchins, library spokesperson.

Hutchins said that details are still being hammered out whether local non-profits will be able to use the auditorium at no cost.

"I've sat in bean bag chairs at Church of the Advent for a library board meeting because we dont' have enough space in our library," Yetter said. "It's crazy. "The backroom of the old Kennett Inn is where you would meet up to 10 people and you were elbow to elbow. Now, that will be gone. It's exciting."

The new library will be 2 ½ times larger than the current library. There will b 19 dedicated parking spaces for library patrons in addition to street parking. Currently, there are no spaces dedicated to the library.

Near the parking area will be a large12-foot high by 100 feet long retaining way that will be adorned with artwork representing the heritage of Kennett Square, including the Underground Railroad, Herb Penock, the Mushroom Industry and the equine industry.

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

For the first time, the Adult Literacy Program, which helps Spanish-speaking people learn the English Language, will have its dedicated classroom, with its own office space. Currently, library officials must pay high schools for using their rooms for this service, a savings of about $3,000 per year.

Last year, the library served about 113,000 people, and library officials say the new library would likely serve double that number, attracting people to town and helping local businesses.

Unlike the state of Delaware, which funds its libraries through county and state funding, the Kennett Area Library is funded by municipal contributions from East Marlborough, Kennett Township, Garden, Newlin, Pennsbury, Pocopson and West Marlborough, and by occasional fundraisers.

"The new Kennett Library and Resource Center will continue the legacy that's already been established by the Kennett Library," Hutchins said. "It will serve our diverse community with more programs and classes. I think it will add to the economic development of southern Chester County by increasing visitorship with numerous community meetings and events."

“The Pennsylvania Library Association did a study and found that every dollar invested in a library brings back 5.5 dollars to the community,” Yetter said. The average person benefits $150 to $200 a year in free services. It’s unbelievable.”

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