The new library will be state-of-the-art, complete with an LEED certification, also making it the greenest building in the county. To say we’re excited to see the new library open and serving the citizens of Perry and surrounding counties would be an understatement, but at the same time we hope the library board is just as determined to sell the old building as they were to build the new. To leave the old building empty would be a complete travesty, and not to mention fiscally irresponsible.
But as we understand it the building will be put up for sale, and we applaud the library board for not wanting to hold onto a building that will not be used. We know that in a downturned economy selling the property may not be an easy task. Everyone is pinching pennies and holding back with a wait and see sort of attitude, but we’re hopeful that such a centered piece of property won’t be on the market for long.
The library’s departure from the downtown area is certainly not something we wanted to see. The library had become an institution in the city, and in truth its presence bolstered a downtown that has in past years lost its former luster to the city’s sprawl and development in other areas. The library generated traffic on Main Street and brought people to the downtown area that otherwise may not have visited. It will be missed as the months move forward.
But we’re also just as elated that with the opening of the new library Hazard will boast one of the most advanced libraries in the state. It’s something that we in Hazard and Perry County should be proud of, and while after September 15 the library will no longer be a few steps away for some, it will be a complete step up for everyone. We think that after the new facility is opened to the public, those of us who lamented the library’s departure from downtown will ultimately be checking out our books with our feet planted firmly in our mouths.