New East Forest Park library to open in 2019 - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

New East Forest Park library to open in 2019

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Architectural rendering of the new library (Western Mass News photo) Architectural rendering of the new library (Western Mass News photo)

Springfield will soon have a new library in the East Forest Park section of the city.

The current library lacks space and enough resources and the new location is making many parents and children very happy.

For Eva Holness, Thursday was not your ordinary school day.  It was field day at Dryden Elementary School and a chance to run around and enjoy this spring weather.

"We're doing sack races.  We're going to just talk," Holness said.

It's a change of pace from the many books Holness enjoys reading at her local library in East Forest Park.

"It has lots of books I can read.  Sometimes, I read chapter books," Holness added.

Well, that book selection just got a whole lot bigger as the city of Springfield announced this week that a new public library will be built on Surrey Road, next to Dryden and Pope Francis High School.

It will be about a half-mile away from the current location on Island Pond Road where the strip mall storefront has suffered from limited handicap accessibility, unreliable internet, and a crunch for space.

The new building will have more computers, private study rooms, larger book and media collections, and easy access in and out.

It will even have a kids room the size of the Island Pond building alone.

"The libraries play a key role.  They diversify in what they have to offer and this is just another good quality of life investment that we're making in Springfield," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Sarno grew up going to libraries in the Forest Park area - an area hit hard by the EF-3 tornado now seven years ago.  He told Western Mass News that this neighborhood will value and appreciate a new and improved resource.

The $9 million project is funded with $4 million coming from the city, about $4 million in state grants, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city's library foundation, thanks to plenty of generous donations.

Holness's mother, Lashawna Lewis, can't wait to take her daughter.

"You have a new school that's being built there, you have the elementary school here, so I think it's going to be good for the community," Lewis said.

Groundbreaking is already underway.  Construction is set to start in September and you can expect to take out books at the new location in the fall of 2019.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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