Photo by Brandon Tipton
Local officials and Friends of the Library met for a ground-breaking ceremony on Broadway at the site of the future home of the Estill County Public Library. Sara Noland, with the first shovel on the left, was the ECPL’s first librarian. She is 98 years old.
By Brandon Tipton
CV&T Staff Writer
The Estill County Public Library had a ground breaking ceremony Wednesday at their future location in the old Kroger building on Broadway. Despite a little drizzle, representatives from numerous groups were there to see the project underway.
There were members of the Estill County Historical and Genealogical Society, ladies from the “I’d Rather Be Quilting” Club, musicians from the Dulcimer Club, some of the library’s youngest patrons as well as ECPL’s first librarian, Sara Nolan.
Representatives from local government were also there to commemorate the occasion. Kevin Williams, the current Estill County judge-executive; James Gross, Mayor of Irvine; Estine Tipton, Mayor of Ravenna and Jeffrey Saylor, Superintendent of Estill County Schools were all present.
The building, which operated as Wolfinbarger’s Auto Supply for years, is certainly nothing to look at at the moment. The exterior is old and tattered, with weeds and trees growing from the foundation. The parking lot, which runs from Citizen Guaranty Banks to Broadway, is cracked and covered in craters. The interior is dark and empty with remnants from the auto parts store scattered about, but the ECPL Board of Directors, Anthony Werhle and Harold Worthington of Central Kentucky Architecture and Dewayne May of May Construction have big plans to turn it around.
The new building will have four meeting rooms to accommodate library programming and groups that wish to convene there. The current building only has one meeting room and there have, at times, been scheduling conflicts and overflow. The larger building will mean room for more public computers and more space to add new books and movies to the collection. A maker space, where patrons can learn to operate sewing machines, laser cutters and 3D printers, will also be a feature of the new location.
Comfort will be a major feature as well as there will be dedicated spaces for children and families, a teen area, a local history room for researchers and seating for people who simply wish to sit and read.
This new building will be the fourth location of the Estill County Public Library. The first was in the basement of the Courthouse in the sixties, the second was in one of the now empty storefronts on Main Street across from La Cabana. Their current location opened to patrons in 1976 and was dedicated a year later. It has held up well over the past forty years, but as a community grows so must its resources, and the library is a very important resource for everyone in the county.