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Hamburg Public Library breaks ground on redesign

The Hamburg Public Library officially broke ground for its new addition on June 12. Local officials and dignitaries, along with Library Director Jack Edson, dug in their shovels.

HAMBURG — The Hamburg Public Library officially broke ground on its 6,000-square foot addition and redesign on June 12, with local dignitaries, the library’s board of directors, residents and friends of the library in attendance.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Hamburg Town Supervisor Steve Walters. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that the town owns the building. From the first time they came to us and said, ‘We want to fix the ramp,’ to working with them as it became different ideas, we’ve been with them every step of the way.

“Lots of people look at libraries as antiquated,” Walters added. “But we’ve been shown here, through this project, that libraries are an integral part of our communities and our library will continue to be a place the community can come together to meet and still read a book. All too often, you read about clashes in government, but even with so many different levels working together, there’s never been a clash in continuing to revitalize this library.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz echoed that sentiment.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke to the assembled about the importance of the library upgrade to county residents.

“Too often, we hear about officials who can’t work together,” he noted. “This is an example of different levels of government working together on behalf of the citizens of Erie County. I’m a strong advocate for libraries, and it’s gratifying to see the project come together.”

The chief operating officer of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System, Carol Ann Batt, said that the reconstruction is a “great testament to the village of Hamburg, to the New York State construction grant program and to the library system.” She also announced that the library system will be adding new computers and replacing all current computers “ensuring that when the facility is complete, it will have state-of-the-art technology for the public’s use.”

Village of Hamburg Mayor Tom Moses said that “This is what our community is known for. Whether in bad times or good, we all come together for what needs to be done, in times of need. You can see it in the entire village. It’s an honor to have this library in our community.”

Hamburg Library Director Jack Edson smiled widely as he told the assembled about what the new addition will bring to the community.

Hamburg Library Director Jack Edson smiled broadly as he delivered his remarks. “It’s so wonderful to see a dream coming together, right before our very eyes.” He noted that the design has been “refined again and again. It’s going to be a beautiful place in Hamburg a place to meet and linger and build relationships in our community. This place is going to be hopping and you are going to love it.”

He also added that the library continues to need the community’s support. “We’ve raised over $43,000, from people like you,” including residents, businesses and members of the Friends of the Hamburg Public Library.

Additions will include a new rotunda area, a large, central community meeting room, universal access entrances, new bathrooms and a facility redesign that will add 60 percent to the formerly 10,000-square foot library.

Edson said he expects the addition to open at the end of the year. “We’ve been telling people it’ll be open by Christmastime. So we’ll all have something really great to look forward to at the end of the year.”

In addition to the official groundbreaking, the library held a free picnic for community members with cakes donated by the cookbook club and 36 ticket raffle items, provided by local businesses and community members. Attendees also had the opportunity to donate or purchase a brick for the library’s building fund. All donations are tax-deductible.

The Hamburg Public Library is located at 102 Buffalo St. in Hamburg and can be reached by calling 649-4415 or visiting www.helpthinkingbig.com.


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