(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A library in the Poconos will soon have a permanent home but the new building will host more than just the library.
A groundbreaking for the Middle Smithfield Township Community Center and Library of the Smithfield’s was held Wednesday afternoon. Photojournalist Tom Gregory was there and has the story.
“We couldn’t be more excited! This will be a great boost for the community,” said Annette Atkinson, Middle Smithfield Township Supervisor.
“We’re not a walkable community like downtown Stroudsburg is so there really is no downtown yet for Middle Smithfield Township. The total project is about $4 million,” added Atkinso. “A library that will be large enough and permanent to serve the needs of this community and a great community center. I know the library has been looking for a new space since the early 2000’s.”
“We started offering library services up here going back to 1981 when there was a volunteer run something in the old Schoonover building in the middle of the national park and wasn’t plowed during the winter. The new library will have faster Wi-Fi, a computer lab, conference room, study rooms” explained Susan Lyons, Director Eastern Monroe Library.
“We’re happy to be a part of the efforts of Middle Smithfield Township and have an opportunity to program arts and culture including an art gallery here at the new community center,” noted Susan Randall, Executive Director Pocono Arts Council.
“A quiet haven,” Lyons said.
“The whole facility, the library and community center part will be equipped to be a Red Cross shelter,” noted Atkinson adding “Culture builds community and community builds collaboration so we’re just very much looking forward to all of it.”
The township says the 12,000 square foot center will be open next year.