Nicholas P. Sims Library was buzzing with activity on Saturday morning as crowds gathered to see the library officially reopen after completing a four-month renovation project.
Members of the library board, city staff and library staff were on hand to cut the ribbon to reopen this historic building.
Library Board Chairman Steve Chapman opened up the event by welcoming everyone to the newly renovated building.
“It is a pleasure to welcome all of you to the renovated Sims Library. We appreciate all of you for making an effort here today to celebrate the grand reopening of Sims Library. The library has been a Waxahachie treasure since a little after 1900. It will be even more so in the future,” Chapman said. “We have brought the library up to date with the work that has been done. It is brighter, more confortable, livable and has a more enjoyable environment. The historical architecture has not been altered but shown where you can enjoy it. It was often hidden.”
Chapman said a reading lounge has been added to the library, the children’s area has been improved and there is a new state of the art teen room located in the basement.
Before the ribbon was cut Chapman expressed his thanks to the library board, the library staff, the Waxahachie City Council who funded the $400,000 renovation project and David Price who oversaw the renovations from start to finish.
The crowd that gathered at the library was made up of first time visitors and returning patrons.
One of those in attendance was Victor Claud of Red Oak who had brought his son, Grayson, to the library.
“We are actually former residents of Waxahachie and we first discovered the library when we moved out here in 1998. We are from California originally and the library is one of the first things that we fell in love with about the town,” Claud said. “They have an excellent children’s library and children’s program. We are really big believers of early literacy with our kids and we have been able to that here.”
Claud said he loves how the library is more open and user friendly. It creates a really inviting atmosphere.
Waxahachie resident Cindy Helton remarked that before the renovations the library seemed very dark and closed up. Now the building seems to be more bright, airy, colorful and children friendly.
“The children’s library was always great but I think that with these renovations that is going to be even more kid friendly,” Helton said. “So I think that it is a wonderful thing.”
President of Averus Corporation Library Consulting David Price oversaw the renovations said the feedback he has heard from the public on the changes that have been made have been positive. People seem to like the new layout of the building.
The renovations to the library preserves its historic character but the renovations also creates a place for each age group to enjoy.
Price said while this renovation has not been the most extensive one that he has done over his career, it has been the most enjoyable.
“I have really enjoyed working with the staff. The building has got some special attributes that you won’t see anywhere else in the country,” Price said. “It has really been a joy to work on the project.”
The library is open 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed Sunday and Monday. It is located at 515 W. Main St. in Waxahachie.
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