Kennett Square Borough officials, library leaders explore new building options
● By Steven Hoffman
Officials from Kennett Square Borough and the Kennett Library are once again exploring the possibility of having one state-of-the-art, multi-use facility located in Kennett Square Borough to serve as the home of the borough's administration office, the library, and, perhaps, the police department.
At the June 6 council meeting, council president Dan Maffei read from a prepared statement from the borough and the library announcing that library leaders are undertaking a planning initiative to analyze the community's needs.
“The Borough of Kennett Square and the Kennett Library have been meeting to discuss a vision for the new library,” Maffei said. “During these discussions, the idea emerged to combine the library and borough facilities. We are happy to announce that the library is about to undertake a planning initiative to determine the needs of the community as they relate to a new library and borough facilities will be considered part of this project. Currently, both parties envision the Kennett Library, borough administration, and the borough police housed in the same community center and located within the borough’s corporate limits.”
Maffei added that the planning study, which is being funded in part with a Chester County Vision Partnership Program Grant, should begin soon.
Council member Geoff Bosley emphasized that the library board informed all the neighboring municipalities about exploring a potential new home with Kennett Square Borough.
Kennett Square officials expressed their optimism about working with the library on a potential new home.
“We believe that this collaboration on a new facility will serve the community well into the future and will result in reduced construction costs for both parties,” said borough manager Joseph Scalise.
Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick called the possibility of working with the library on a new, shared home “an incredible opportunity.”
The mayor noted that it was this time last year that Kennett Square Borough officials were considering withholding funding from the library because they felt under-represented on the library's board, and because of concerns raised by citizens about some of the decisions made by the library board. Since that time, a new leadership team has been welcomed by the library board.
“We've come a long way in a year,” Fetick said. “I think it's a huge step forward.”
In a statement, Thomas C. Swett, President of the Kennett Library Board of Trustees, said, “The Kennett Library is excited about exploring this opportunity to partner with the borough to create a multi-use, state-of-the-art community center.”