On Sunday October 2, 2016 the Reading Public Library celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at their newly renovated location, 64 Middlesex Avenue in Reading, MA. The celebration was open for public attendance warmly welcoming friends, families, and local Reading residents eager to see the library’s transformation. The celebration began with welcoming words from Chair and Library Building Committee, David Hutchinson. Other speakers included Chair and Board of Library Trustees, John Brzezenski, Reading Town Manager, Bob LeLacheur, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Frank Murphy, Executive Director of American Library Association, Keith Michael Fiels, Representative Bradley H. Jones, Jr., Representative James J. Dwyer, and Senator, Jason M. Lewis.
The project included a 10,000 SF building expansion as well as the restoration of a 29,000 SF historic structure that was once an elementary school belved by the community. The design added much needed program for a modern public library: multiple meeting spaces, a community room to accommodate gatherings of 150 people, quiet study areas, and light filled reading zones for children, teens and adults. The original porte cochere entry was transformed into a glass enclosed makerspace that along with a new three-side glass reading room now activates the street and reinforces the notion of a library as a community center. A new double-height entrance lobby emphasizes the civic nature of the library while maximizing the visual connection between new and old.