The new Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville will hold a “green” grand opening and ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 5110 Jamesville Road. (Hayleigh Gowans)
By Hayleigh Gowans
It has been years in the making, but the new freestanding library in DeWitt is finally opening on Aug. 21 and staff is excited about the possibilities the new space will bring.
“It feels unbelievable,” said Executive Director Wendy Scott. “It’s fantastic. It wouldn’t have happened without the dedication on the part of the board of trustees.”
The former DeWitt Community Library will re-open as the newly-named Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville on Monday, Aug. 21, at 5110 Jamesville Road. A grand opening ceremony will follow at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. Scott said the reason for the name change was a decision by the library board to better represent the wide coverage area of the library, which includes a majority of central DeWitt, Jamesville and a portion of East Syracuse, Pompey and the town of Onondaga.
The new library is a total of 24,000 square feet, much larger that the former space at ShoppingTown Mall, said Scott, allowing the library to offer more services and programming to the community. Three meeting rooms, a children’s activity center, a teen room, a digital production suite, an outdoor adult reading garden, a maker space and a large community meeting room are some of the areas that patrons will be able to utilize.
The maker space will be named “The Hive” and will include a 3D printer among other hands-on software and technology that will allow patrons to work on projects or learn how to use the technology through courses, said Scott.
Opening the new library will bring the ability for patrons to enjoy a flexible and relaxing library environment with a wider range of programming and services for all ages, said Scott.
“I think this really shows what a modern library can be,” Scott said. “The flexible spaces allow patrons to use the library in ways we were limited in at ShoppingTown … There’s a lot of different seating options and we hope people will be able to move it around to fit their needs.”
Recently, the library announced through a partnership with AccessCNY that there will be an operating café in the library which will allow patrons to purchase food and drink to enjoy in the new space. The Provisions Café Express will initially offer coffee, cookies and other fresh baked goods and, in the future, hopes to expand to make items such as wraps and salads, said Scott. It will also offer a complete catering menu for organizations who use the large community room.
The expanded space also will allow the library to collect and display a larger number of art from local artists. Large murals from artists Elliott Mattice and Kathy Maio will add to the decoration of the rooms in the children’s area.
One of the prominent features the new library will have is a focus on sustainability and being a “green” facility, Scott said. The building has solar panels and a living roof, allowing the facility to be more eco-friendly when it comes to energy use. The landscape of the library will include local wildflowers and native plants, and patrons will be encouraged to walk the paths around the library to enjoy the nature.
A “green” grand opening will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the new library location, which entails a green leaf ribbon, and messages written on eco-friendly balloons being released into the air. The grand opening will include remarks from: New York State Senator John A. DeFrancisco; New York State Assemblymember Pamela Hunter; President of the library board, Mary Keib-Smith; Chad Rogers, Partner with King & King Architects; and Scott. There will also be music, giveaways, entertainment by the Bubbleman and leather-making demonstrations in the new “Hive” maker space.
The construction of the new library was proposed to cost somewhere around $8.3 million, and the library has been the recipient of several grants and donations, including a $500,000 grant from the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation. The library has undertaken a fundraising campaign to contribute to the costs of construction.
To learn more about the project, or how to contribute to the campaign, go to dewhome.wordpress.com.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features.
I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.