Bangor Public Library celebrates $9 million renovation

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The Bangor Public Library celebrated a multi-million dollar renovation project Wednesday.

It is an effort to bring the more than 100-year-old library into the 21st Century.

The project has been underway for total of three years and is just now nearing completion.

Library Director, Barbara McDade, says they could not wait to share it with the community.

“We see it as community space. We see it as a place where somebody helps guide you to the information that you use,” McDade said.

The library held an open house of sorts with guided tours, food, games and live music.

Generous funding from author Stephen King, as well as bonds and taxpayer dollars made the massive renovation project possible.

The lead architect Ryan Kanteres with Scott Simons Architects said the most challenging part of the project was blending the old with the new.

“They were quite interested in an approach that allowed the new to be new, did it in a different way, but did it in a way that related in scale and material to the historic buildings," Kanteres said.

The focal point is the new addition of an atrium to be used as an event space and gathering area.

There are also a number of business-oriented spaces featuring new technology and areas dedicated to both kids and teens.

"It's computer friendly and child friendly, and it's friendly to old people like me too. So it's friendly to everybody now," Kurt Keef, President of Friends of Bangor Public Library said.

McDade said the ultimate purpose is to be a community space to bring people together with technology, art and (of course) the written word.

"That's what we have to see the library as—both what we have that we can share with the world and what people need to know and us helping them find it. Just that one spark can start a whole new revolution—just finding that one right idea. We hope that we're the spark to help Bangor move forward,” McDade said.

McDade says they hope to complete the project entirely by the end of September, but still have a few other items on their list such as an outdoor amphitheater for children and numerous digitalization efforts.

Copyright 2016 WLBZ


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