Kennett Library sells Ways Lane Property to Chatham Financial
● By Steven Hoffman
The Kennett Library has agreed to sell a 5.2-acre property on Ways Lane to Chatham Financial. The library's Board of Trustees released a press release confirming the sale last week.
The sale allows the library to turn the page on a chapter in its recent history. The Ways Lane property was originally purchased in 2001 to be the site of a brand new library, but those plans did not move forward. The sale of the property now marks another important step toward the goal of constructing a new library building on a site at the intersection of State and Willow streets in downtown Kennett Square—just a short distance from the current library. The library's Board of Trustees reached an agreement to purchase the Weinstein Lot from the Borough of Kennett Square earlier this year.
The press release stated that the sale of the Ways Lane property produced $900,000 in proceeds, and those funds will go toward building the new library. The press release thanked Chatham Financial for its generosity in paying more than the appraised value of $750,000 for the land—it was a way to help jumpstart the upcoming capital campaign that the Kennett Library will undertake.
Selling the Ways Lane property caps an extremely productive year for the library's Board of Trustees. After exploring the possibility of collaborating with Kennett Square Borough on a building that would house the library and the borough's administration, library officials instead decided to purchase the Weinstein Lot from the borough. An agreement for the sale of that property was reached in the summer. In November, voters in New Garden Township approved a referendum that establishes an annual dedicated tax that will boost revenues for the library's operations. The Board of Trustees has also been at work finalizing the design concepts for the new library, which will include a covered parking garage, an auditorium, classrooms and rooms for tutoring for the Adult Literacy Program, a maker space, and group study rooms. Library officials will continue to work with architects on finalizing the designs. A feasibility study is expected to begin in January, and then work on the next major effort—a capital campaign—will begin in earnest.