Minister English visits Athy to view progress on the new community library.
Minister English visited Athy today [3 May] to express his good wishes on the commencement of works to deliver a much needed modern community library facility.
Kildare County Council purchased the church and the adjoining lands from the Dominican order and is now progressing its re-use as a new state of the art community library.
The library has been designed to meet the significant and diverse needs of the citizens of Athy and the surrounding environs and will act as a hub of educational, cultural, information and civic engagement resources.
Located in the centre of Athy town, the site is considered an ideal location for this innovative library project as it offers excellent size and scope for a multi-faceted library and community service. Minister English was shown around the internal library spaces, the ground floor of which is some 880 m2 . The mezzanine level of 90m2 will be developed as an additional leisure reading and study space. The Minister also took the opportunity to view first-hand the upgrade of the original priory building which has been transformed into high quality housing provision under the management of the Peter McVerry Trust.
Minister English expressed his support for phase one of a development which will move the library to an area that will be further developed in terms of housing and amenity. The regeneration of this town centre area designated as the ‘Dominican Character Area’ in the Town Development Plan will be enhanced with the provision of the modern library facility, recreational amenities and housing developments. The relocation of the existing library from the town hall will facilitate the expansion of The Athy Heritage Centre, which recently received Museum status.