EVANS CITY — Gone are the days of the wood trim and carpet squares at the Evans City Public Library’s Community Room.
Wood now constitutes the floor, and the walls have fresh coats of paint. A projector screen sits at the far end of the room, and a sign on the door honors Dean McMillen, a late Evans City resident who spent much of his time helping the community.
At Thursday night’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Evans City and county representatives spoke fondly of the library and their hopes for the future of the newly rehabilitated community room.
"This room is available, going forward, for all sorts of anniversaries, maybe christenings, maybe birthday parties, those kinds of things,” said Lee Dyer, Rotary Club member and regional Rotary Foundation chairman. “The department of tourism kindly helped us put together a marketing piece, because this library needs continued funding. This library is an absolute gem of Evans City.”
The renovation, which took several months and forced borough council to convene in various venues across the borough, added lights, updated the color scheme and overhauled the room’s look. For those who liked the earlier look, its new facade is still appealing.
“I thought the room was gorgeous when it was here before and very lively,” Cheri Deener-Kohan, borough council president, said. “I had no idea what it was going to look like it. And I’m like, thumbs-up. Wonderful job. I can hardly wait to have my meeting here tomorrow (Friday) night.”
Funding for the $14,000 renovation came from a number of community organizations, including the Rotary Club, the Evans City Water and Sewer Authority, the borough and the Evans City Historical Society. Other organizations helped out, and the Lions Club contributed a refrigerator that’s present in the next-door kitchenette.
County Commissioner Kim Geyer said the community pitching in signified Evans City’s community-focused nature.
“You’ve invested in your future, and that’s your children,” Geyer said. “You’ve attracted — because you’ve invested into your library, and you’ve made it so nice, such a nice facility, such a nice community center — what will happen is you’re growing your community and you’ll have more families attracted to Evans City, because of this being one of your greatest assets.”
Mark Wilson, a Forward Township supervisor, said the project was an example of the “core principles” of community groups.
“That’s the concept of teamwork,” he said. “What can be accomplished when good people come together and are able to put their minds and their resources together to create something that’s going to benefit not themselves but all the people in the community.”