After three years of dreaming, planning, fundraising, construction and more fundraising, officials of the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library announced yesterday the new facility at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and West Tenth Street will be open to the public beginning Monday at noon.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Chuck Banas, the library board’s vice-president. “I know that sounds over-used, but this has been a three year dream and in just a few days, it will finally be a reality.”
According to Banas, although the doors will open Monday, the grand opening celebration isn’t scheduled until Thursday. Throw in next Saturday’s fundraising concert at the Tyrone High School auditorium, and officials are looking at a pretty hectic week.
“We’re going to have a red ribbon cutting and we’ve invited quite a few recognized people from the area,” said Banas. “We’re sure going to have our work cut out for us.”
Banas said those invited tho the 3 p.m. ribbon cutting on April 15 include U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster, Senator Robert Jubelirer, Reps. Larry Sather and Jerry Stern, all three county commissioners, and numerous officials from both Tyrone and Snyder Township.
“I’ll say it again, we’re just absolutely thrilled that we’re finally opening,” said Banas. “It’s an absolutely gorgeous facility that’s state-of-the-art, and we all feel confident it can and will provide both recreational and educational opportunities for generations of northern Blair County residents.”
Banas also commented on the location of the facility. He said he hopes it will bring more visitors to the downtown, thus boosting the local economy.
The project’s total costs are in the area of $750,000. It is being partially funded through the state with a $100,000 grant, but heavy fundraising efforts and a low-interest mortgage from five northern Blair County banking institutions have covered most of the costs.
The library’s former location caused officials in mid-2002 to begin seeking options for either repairs or new construction. The building on Logan Avenue was a 3,000-square foot building that is not handicapped accessible. There are no elevators in the two-story structure and the restrooms do not accommodate wheelchair-bound visitors.
The new building will encompass between 7,200- and 7,300-square feet with incorporated plans should the need for future expansion arise. Also, there will be better parking facilities and will be fully handicapped accessible.
The new library will also contain a conference room, a computer lab, a historical room, an expanded children’s area, and, for those people who know what it’s like working on the second floor of the current building in August – a centralized air conditioning unit.
All next week, the library will offer amnesty for borrowers who have overdue books. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The facility is closed Sundays.