New Bridgeville Library Nearly Completed
The Bridgeville Public Library will close for two weeks before reopening Jan. 3
After years of trying to expand from its cramped quarters, the Bridgeville Public Library is pulling out of the old train station and into a sparkling new home.
Work on the $4 million facility is nearly complete and will be ready for its planned opening on Jan. 3. The current library, which is situated in the train station and caboose on Station Street, is scheduled to close Wednesday night as workers move the collection to the new building at 505 McMillen St.
Even the people who have been the most involved in the long process of designing the new library are taken aback by the sprawling 7,800-square foot building, which is more than four times the size of the current library.
"I like coming up here every day to see the progress," said library director Donna Taylor as she walked around the new site last week. "I keep flashing back to this building over the past year. It's made so much progress."
The library currently has about 20,000 literary items, which will not immediately change. But Taylor said the library will have the ability to expand the collection by 25 percent and also double the number of computers to a dozen. The adult section will have high shelves that can accommodate more books, while the rest of the library will have smaller stacks to give the building an open environment.
There will be a larger registry desk and three offices for the library workers, which should help with organizing the collection. Taylor said she currently shares part of her desk with the library's DVD section.
"It's been frustrating over the past couple of years, especially if you're someone who likes to spread your stuff out," she said.
Taylor added that there will be large cushions placed on the window sills and "comfy chairs" will be sprinkled around the building. Meanwhile, a fireplace is being installed on the far end of the library that will give people a place to read and relax.
That is good news for Mary Weise, a borough councilwoman and member of the library board, as the winter months are rolling in.
"The next cold day, I might go down to the library, grab a book and sit by the fireplace," Weise said. "The buzz of the borough has been all about the new library."
The building will also house a community room that boasts a 60-inch flatscreen television and can accommodate up to 70 people. Just outside the room sits a patio area that can be used during the warmer months. Construction workers built a paved sidewalk to the Washington Commons retirement home next door so residents there could easily get to the library.
Nino Petrocelli Sr., who is president of both the borough council and library board, said the two boards plan to team up to hold small concerts, educational programs and even political forums and debates.
"We want to do so many programs," Petrocelli said. "Even though the historical caboose over there is cute and different, it doesn't permit us to do everything a community and library needs these days."
The planning process began about four years ago when it became clear the train station no longer could accommodate the library's growing needs. The library board settled on a patch of land behind Dewey Avenue that once was used as a baseball field before construction began in February.
"It was just too busy and several people thought it was time to go forward," Weise said. "The core group (on council and the library board) has felt for a long time that there was a great need for a larger and more modern facility."
The library board received a $500,000 state Keystone grant and used about $1.5 million from its capital improvements budget to finance construction. The board also took out a $2 million loan to pay for the remaining portions of the project.
"In Bridgeville, we do have a beautiful community, but nothing like this where people can really come in and see many different things," Petrocelli said. "We get a lot of compliments from the community. For people who see it, the feeling is good. Let's hope the community gives us the moral support."
The Bridgeville Area Historical Society plans to move into the train station and caboose next year.