Breaking ground on project 10 years in the making

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SHELBURNE, Vt. Shelburne residents are highly anticipating a new library and Town Center.

“There's really been a renaissance in terms of re-thinking what a library means,” said Kevin Unrath, Pierson Library Director.

Unrath says the new Pierson Library will still have plenty of books, but he hopes with new computers, study and meeting spaces, it will turn into the heart of Shelburne community.

“I think people are really excited about it,” said Shelburne resident Kate Cross.

Cross has lived in Shelburne for about five years. She hopes the new library will breathe new life into the area.

“It's a real expression of our village, and revitalizing our village, and the investment in the community,” said Cross.

After about 10 years of planning, a $6.5 million bond vote was passed last November to build a new library. The project also includes additional parking, a new exit lane onto Shelburne Road, and improvements to storm water management.

The old Shelburne Town Hall, built in 1927, is also getting some much needed renovations. The new library will sit right behind it, keeping some of the history of the town, and adding a new, modern feel.

“We had more business than ever before the last few years,” said Unrath.

Over the last decade the library has seen more programs and 40 percent more attendees. The amount of cardholders has also gone up nearly 25 percent.

9-year-old Leo Denenberg says he went to the old library up to four times a week and checks out a lot of books.

“Sometimes they range from only five books, sometimes I go over the limit. Several times they have made exceptions for me,” he said.

Work on the space will start soon, and go throughout the Winter.