Kingsessing Library in Southwest Philly to get makeover
The century-old Kingsessing Library in Southwest Philly is poised to get a complete overhaul.
Driving the news: The city unveiled final designs for the $7 million renovations to the branch building at 1201 S 51st St. on Tuesday.
- The renovations are part of Philadelphia's $500 million Rebuild project to upgrade libraries, recreation centers, and other public spaces, which is funded by the city's soda tax.
Why it matters: The library — which opened in 1919 and was last renovated in 1999 — has been in dire need of repairs for years.
- The library lacks an elevator and instead has an unreliable lift. Meanwhile, rooms are going unused and the building has a faulty HVAC system.
Plus: The site, which includes the Kingsessing Recreation Center to be renovated too, serves as a one-stop shop for community members of all ages, Kira Strong, Rebuild's executive director, told Axios.
- The improvements will provide a safe space for children at a time when the city is suffering from record levels of gun violence.
Details: Library upgrades include the elevator installation, plus a new roof, windows and HVAC system. What else:
- New outdoor garden beds and a greenhouse
- The building interior will be redesigned, making space for dedicated areas for teens, children and community meetings.
What's ahead: The library will close to the public starting Oct. 14.
- Construction is slated to begin this winter.
- A final design for the $19 million rec center project is expected to be revealed this winter, with a start date in the spring.
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