KENTVILLE - The Kentville Library has its fairytale ending.
“This space has become more than we could ever anticipate,” said Mayor Sandra Snow, delivering remarks at the well-attended grand opening celebration hosted Nov. 25.
Snow applauded the team from houdinidesign ARCHITECTS for coming up with a vision that transformed the historic United Church of St. Paul and St. Stephen at 440 Main Street into a renewed community gathering place that pays homage to the past.
“The library is our heart,” she said, commending building landlords Parsons Investments Limited for completing the structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades necessary to make the new library a reality.
The decommissioned church, featuring stone and timber elements, was built in 1914.
The volunteer-driven Friends of the Kentville Library group raised $100,000 through a ‘This Place Matters” campaign to help the contributing municipal partners, the Town of Kentville and Municipality of the County of Kings, propel the project forward.
Famed author Margaret Atwood even took an interest in the efforts to relocate the Kentville Library, raising funds for the young adult section that is aptly named Killam Corner after Atwood’s grandfather, former Berwick-area Dr. Harold Killam.
Kentville’s Annapolis Valley Regional Library (AVRL) branch was formerly located on Cornwallis Street, and the old building has been demolished to create space for a bridge replacement project.
“It’s simply amazing how the community pulled together for this project. The Kentville Library represents AVRL’s fifth completed capital project in just over two and a half years,” said AVRL CEO Anne-Marie Mathieu.
Friends of the Kentville Library president Sarah Leslie takes comfort in knowing the renovated space will serve as a new safe place within the community.
“One of the reasons that I got involved in this project was because as a teacher I see a lot of kids who don’t have a safe space to go home to, and I’m really excited about creating safe spaces,” said Leslie, who stressed that the library is an inclusive gathering place for one and all.
“The doors are wide open.”
(Photos and video by Mark Goudge, Saltwire Network)
Did you know?
The Kentville Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. It is closed on Sundays.