With the work nearly done, the Shippensburg Public Library is ready to celebrate.
The library has scheduled a Library Celebration Day on Sept. 30 to show off the recently completed addition at the facility at 73 W. King St. The 9 a.m. event will serve as the grand opening of the library’s addition and celebrate completion of its $6 million renovation and expansion project.
“It’s a beautiful new space for the community to come and enjoy,” said Jody Cole, library executive director. “We’ve improved a large area of downtown Shippensburg. … We’re very grateful to the community for supporting us.”
Work began at the library in July 2015 and was completed in two phases. The final phase, construction of a 6,000-square-foot one-story addition, is nearing completion and expected to open later this month.
“We’re pretty close,” Cole said. “We’ve had a few delays. We were originally scheduled to open in May. But a rainy spring held up some of the brick work, and we had some delays with steel construction. But we’re not that much behind schedule.”
According to Cole, the first phase of the project, completed at a cost of $1.3 million, focused on renovation of the existing library; the second phase, construction of the addition at a cost of $4.7 million, started in August 2016.
Cole said improvements to the library include the addition of elevators; sprinkler, and heating and cooling systems; and handicapped accessible rest rooms. The Pennsylvania Room, which houses a collection of books on the state’s history, was renovated and moved from the second floor to the third floor.
She said the addition connects to the existing library and houses the children’s collection, a community room, staff offices, rest rooms and storage space.
The project also includes additional parking with new lighting, accessible to the library via a bridge over Branch Creek, Cole said.
The project received state funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and was also aided by the library’s Capital Campaign, a community fundraiser that raised $2 million.
Library Celebration Day activities will include an open air market and book sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and chicken dinner sale from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
According to Betsy Haller, Library Celebration Day chair, the open air market will be held in the new parking area at the library and feature produce and crafts from local vendors. The book sale will be held at the Book Nook, located next to the library.
The library will be open, and tours will be offered throughout the day. Children’s activities are also planned.
Chicken dinners can be picked up at the former Adams Electric building, 204 W. King St. Friends of the Library will have a bake sale at that site as well.
Chicken dinner tickets will be on sale by mid-August at the library and the Book Nook. They can also be purchased from library board members and Friends of the Library.
Haller said the library’s parking lots will be closed during the event. Parking will be available at the borough parking lot on West Burd Street and the Shippensburg Firefighters Activities Center, 33 W. Orange St.
All proceeds will benefit the library.