Groundbreaking for new KSQ library

It’s been more than two decades in the making, but after almost 30 years of talks, arguments, and controversy, ground was broken for a new library in Kennett Square. The Kennett Library board held a brief ceremony at the Willow and State Street site Thursday morning.

More than 100 people were on hand, including library board members, all three Chester County Commissioners, U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlihan, state Reps. Craig Williams and Christina Sappey, state Sen. John Kane, and many others interested in the project.

Library Board President Jeff Yetter called the project a long time coming, but that it was “truly a community project.” He said the library is planned with a 110-seat auditorium and will have 14 state-of-the-art meeting rooms.

Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick tells the audience during the Aug. 12 groundbreaking ceremony that the new library is "going to make a huge impact on the greater Kennett area and Southern Chester County overall.”

Also included in the plans are a children's maker space, adult maker space; two classrooms; one multipurpose room; four tutor rooms, quiet and reflection room; computer carrels; several quiet reading areas; and an outdoor terrace.

“Kennett is a special place, and this will be a special library that will enhance the quality of life,” Yetter said.

A seven-minute virtual walkthrough of the facility can be found here.

Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick said that even in the world of the Internet and World Wide Web, libraries remain important.

“The library is not just about books,” Fetick said. “When you look at the resource center portion of what this is, you’ll start to understand why this is going to be a hub and critical part of our community service. While we have the privilege of being the home of the library resource center here in the borough, it’s going to make a huge impact on the greater Kennett area and Southern Chester County overall.”

He added that it would help the most vulnerable in the overall community, those without computers or Internet access, those that need the adult literacy program.

“When we look at healthy communities, communities that thrive, there’s no doubt in my mind that when we put our energy and efforts behind this library and resource center, that we’re going to make a huge impact on our community,” Fetick said.

The project cost for the 31,485 square foot building is $20 million, with $12.3 already raised. Library Board Trustee Collis Townsend said members of the board collectively donated $792,000.

A grand opening is anticipated for February 2023.

The library serves Kennett Square, Kennett Township, West Marlborough townships, Newlin, Pocopson, and Pennsbury townships.

An architect's rendering of the planned 31,485 square foot library that will be at the corner of Willow and E. State Street in Kennett Square.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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