Carol Ladd (left) and Ann Maynard of Friends of the Library make baskets that will be raffled at the Chazy Public Library’s grand opening Saturday.
People will lose themselves in the stacks at the new Chazy Public Library, says Emily Castine, president of the Board of Trustees.
The 110-year-old library recently moved from the small historic building at 9633 Route 9 to a larger, yet still historic location at 1329 Fiske Road.
“It housed the British troops in the War of 1812,” Castine said of the building constructed in 1807, with an addition built in 1967.
Moving, with the help of the Lions Club, was part of a multi-phase project that should be completed within the next two years.
The new building is handicap accessible, with a parking area and more space for books and community events.
Phase 1 of the project, which has cost roughly $250,000 so far, consists of the main floor; a reading room, circulation, children’s area and three computer stations. It also includes extensive shelving.
“This has been about two years of actively doing it,” Castine said. “But we have been dreaming about it for some time.”
About 10 years ago, Castine approached Dr. George W. Clark about using his physican’s office for a library.
He retied several years later and she mentioned it again. When he passed two years ago, he willed the medical office to the library.
The board immediately mobilized and began forming committees to start the moving process.
The Clinton, Essex, Franklin Library System was invaluable and paved the way for the grant-writing process.
“They held my hand,” Castine said.
“We all worked on the design and spent many hours in discussions and meetings.”
The new building has 3,900-square feet compared to the old location with 1,000 square feet.
Phase 2 consists of the downstairs community room, which will include a kitchenette, white boards and projectors.
“Even if the library isn’t open, an organization can use the community room.”
Phase 2 should be completed within a year.
Phase 3 will include exterior work, including a gazebo and space for summer book sales and children’s events. It should be completed within two years.
The library further includes an electric fireplace with lounge chairs and an antique bookcase from Clark’s office.
“He was an eclectic reader and had a very large library of his own,” Castine said. “I know he’d be happy.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is Dec. 10, at 11:45 a.m., and the grand opening and holiday reception hosted by Friends of the Library will follow through 3 p.m.
The move would not have occurred without extensive fundraising’ personal donations, volunteers and help from groups such as Friends of the Library.
The library is still seeking donations to pay for future work and purchase books. Anyone interested should contact Tina Trombly at 846-7799.
“We are just so happy it is finally a reality,” Castine said. “It is a joy to see this come together.
“I think this will make people hungry for books.”