What a long and winding road it has been to get to this point! The idea for the Etna Center for Community and Community Library began back in 2016 when a group of interested residents began meeting to discuss the idea. Support for bringing a library back to Etna grew during the 2+ year Etna EcoDistrict planning process, when it emerged as the #1 priority project identified by residents in the Etna EcoDistrict Plan, which was published in 2019. After years of studies, engagement, fundraising, and planning, we are finally ready to begin the reconstruction of the building shell- bringing it back to its historic beauty. Bidding for the project is underway, and construction on the exterior should begin this spring/summer. We continue to fundraise for the funds to complete the interior renovation and have many pathways lined up to achieve our goal. Take a look at the final interior renderings of our future library:
Entering through the main door on Butler Street, you will find a colorful space that is flooded with light from the front and the rear of the building. The walls are lined with bookshelves, and you will find spaces to work, gather, and interact with librarians. A colorful mural fills the walls.
Library staff are easy to access in this space. The main circulation desk is stationed at the back of the historic building where the new addition begins. Librarians will have sight lines to the entire space and will be available to help locate resources, offer technical assistance, check out books, and answer questions.
Also at the front of the building is the maker space. This space houses computers and laptops for public use and will host small group programs, such as maker programs for kids and teens, and can be used for quite work or study.
The large rear addition, which we're calling "Greenhouse Hall" is lined with windows that look out onto Locust Street. This multipurpose space will have a children's area, loads of books, and places to work and study. Everything in this space is mobile and can be rearranged to accommodate all types of programs: community meals, yoga classes, educational programs, story time, etc.
Greenhouse Hall is truly a community space where we can bring programs and services to meet the needs of the community.
Perhaps one of the most exciting spaces in the ECC is the courtyard along Locust Street. This will be space to soak up the sun with a good book surrounded by native plants. An innovative stormwater system will capture rain water from the butterfly roof. We're dreaming of warm summer days spent enjoying this courtyard!
ECO programming will continue while construction of the building begins. Once the space is no longer habitable, we'll work with our partner organizations around the borough to offer our Pop-Up Programs in various spaces throughout the community.