The Shippensburg Public Library will host an assortment of family activities Saturday at a grand opening celebration for its new building addition.
The event, called “Library Celebration Day,” marks the completion of a $6 million renovation and expansion project for the library that began with a capital campaign fundraising drive in 2009.
Jo Anne Coy, board of trustees member and capital campaign co-chair, said renovations to the Stewart House, home of the existing library, included installation of an elevator and new heating and air conditioning system. Also part of the project was construction of a 6,000-square-foot addition to the rear of the library, a new parking area on the former Freeman Medical Building property, which the library purchased in 2009, and a pedestrian bridge over Branch Creek connecting the new parking area to the library.
Library Executive Director Jody Cole said the public has been very supportive of the project and she is “looking forward to improving the library and serving the community better.”
“I also want to thank the staff, the board and the friends (of the library) for all of their support,” she said. “I hope everybody will come in and make use of the new building and the freed-up space in the existing Stewart House.”
Saturday’s celebration, which will be held rain or shine, will kick off with a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. at the new bridge.
Activities will include an open-air market in the new parking area, a sale at the Book Nook, located beside the library, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and tours of the library beginning at 9:15 a.m.
Book signings by two local authors are also planned. Bonnie Hathcock, formerly of Shippensburg and author of “Lilac Dreams,” will be in the children’s room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and children’s author Sharri Marat, author of “The Cloud Artist,” will be in the community room from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition, Marat will present puppet shows in the community room at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
There will also be a Smith’s chicken barbecue dinner and Friends of the Library bake sale at the new CFJMA office (former Adams Electric building) from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinners are $12 each and will include a baked potato, baked beans, applesauce or macaroni salad, roll and butter. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event, Coy said.
Entertainment will be provided by the Shippensburg Town Band.
At 2 p.m., silent online auction winners will be announced.
Coy said the auction, handled by Hurley Auction in Greencastle, features eight paintings by local artist Harold Etter that were donated by Bob and Cathy Jacobs.
The paintings, done in the 1950s and 1960s, feature local landmarks like Alexander Stewart’s summer home in Roxbury (painted in 1963) and the Old Stone Bridge in Orrstown (painted in 1953).
“Many local people consider their Etter paintings an important part of their art collection,” Coy said. “Here is an opportunity for them to acquire another Etter painting and help the library at the same time.”
According to the Hurley Auction website, Etter is a native of Boiling Springs. He graduated from Shippensburg Teachers College in 1934 and later studied at the Woodbury Ross School of Art in Maine and Indiana State Teachers College.
Throughout Saturday’s celebration event, both library parking lots will be closed. People attending should park in the Shippensburg Borough parking lot on Burd Street or at the Shippensburg Firefighters Activities Center on Orange Street.
Contractor for the project was Kinsley Construction of York. Architects were LSC Design of York and Newcomer Associates of Chambersburg.
Funding includes a $500,000 matching grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, and a state redevelopment grant
All Library Celebration Day proceeds will benefit the library.
Donations are still being accepted. They should be marked “Capital Campaign” and mailed or dropped off at the Shippensburg Public Library, 73 W. King St., Shippensburg, PA 17257.