Above: The Phoenicia Library's snazzy new sign, via its Facebook page.
After the Phoenicia Library burned down on March 19, 2011, it took almost four years for it to rise from the ashes. But rise it did, with the close-knit Shandaken community raising $800,000 to support the rebuilding project with state grants, insurance monies, bake sales, restaurant fundraisers, and large donations from neighbors.
The library re-opened in its totally restored 48 Main Street building on Jan. 2. The structure now boasts a state-of-the-art design that cuts its energy costs to the bare minimum, and a lot of exciting architectural and technological bells and whistles. From a press release from the library's director, Liz Potter:
The circa 1860 building was expanded from 1,895 to 3,235 square feet, with a 24-foot rear addition constructed to encompass the new children’s and community rooms. The passive house design utilizes thick insulation, an airtight building envelope, triple-glazed windows, and computer–calibrated ventilation through a heat exchange system to cut energy costs to a bare minimum. The building also features energy-efficient LED lighting designed by Rhinebeck’s LEDspin, with LED lights lasting approximately 50,000 hours rather than incandescent bulbs’ average of 1000 hours. The eye-catching, L-shaped circulation desk was custom built and donated by Ben Mack of Mack Custom Woodworking of Shokan, NY. Other library features include new laptops and desktop computers, a digital projector in the community room, and a welcoming space for children with a “pretend” campfire surrounded by “log” cushions.
No resurrection is complete without a giant party. This weekend, the Phoenicia Library formally celebrates its grand re-opening with a big bash. There will be a building dedication, a local history lecture, and a ukulele concert with surprise guests. Congrats Phoenicia -- you did it.
Phoenicia Library Reopening Party. Saturday, Jan. 17. Open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Opening ceremony at 12 p.m. 48 Main St., Phoenicia. phoenicialibrary.org.