WEST CHESTER (December 8, 2021) – State Senator Carolyn Comitta announced today that she has helped secure $1.9 million in state funding for the new Kennett Library and Resource Center, a nearly 31,500-square-foot facility set for the corner of State and Willow Streets in Kennett Square.

“Education is the most powerful force for transformational change in the world,” said Comitta, an educator by trade and a member of the Senate Education Committee. “And I know that this new library and state-of-the-art resource center will be a place where children, families, residents, senior citizens, and community members can come together to learn, grow, and succeed for decades to come.”

The new Kennett Library and Resource Center, set for the corner of State and Willow Streets, will offer ample opportunity for residents and visitors to explore our cultural history and share life stories and experiences. Plans for the LEED-Gold certified facility call for a large adult library, a spacious children’s and teen space and study, quiet areas for private reading and reflection, and various-sized classrooms and flexible community rooms, all equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, laptop, and computer access, as well as expanded digital communications technology. The facility will also include two Maker Spaces, equipped with 3D printers, large format scanner and printer, embroidery machines and computers with design software to foster creativity for both adults and children, and a resource for companies and organizations. In addition, it will offer a 110-seat auditorium for performances, discussions, meetings, and film screenings.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Kennett Square, the modern building is designed with large swaths of glass to allow abundant natural light and Avondale brown stone to reflect the region’s heritage and landscape. It will include outdoor common spaces, a sweeping second-floor terrace, and 19 off-street parking spaces. In addition to making room for an expanded book and media collection, the new facility will allow for the library to vastly expand its programming to launch new and build on existing offerings regarding adult literacy, English as a Second Language, student learning and tutoring, arts and culture, historical, and community discussion programs. The building design also incorporates energy-efficiency measures and modern health and safety systems. Perhaps most importantly, the new library will be free, open, and accessible to all, including vulnerable populations, like lower-income families, elderly residents, and those with disabilities.

Established over a century ago, the Kennett Library currently serves 45,000 residents in eight Chester County municipalities including the Borough of Kennett Square, as well as the townships of East Marlborough, Kennett, New Garden, Newlin, Pennsbury, Pocopson, and West Marlborough.

Ground was broken for the new $20 million facility in August and the organization has already raised nearly $12.5 million through public and private donations. The current facility, located just west of the new site at 216 E. State Street, is 60 years old and only 11,000 square feet.

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a Commonwealth reimbursement grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the state budget, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. 

To learn more about the new Kennett Library, visit https://campaign4.kennettlibrary.org/.