Hubbard library renovation celebrated

HUBBARD — In a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, library staff, board members, patrons and community members christened the newly renovated entranceway at the Hubbard Public Library and unveiled a fiberglass eagle statue, painted by local artist Linda Clark, that will be permanently housed there.

Library Director Lorena Williams called the renovation project, which added a breezeway to the front of the library to control the flow of cold air in the winter and also improved a second side entrance to the building, the “Doorways to Discovery” project.

“Doors are important, but even more is discovery,” Williams said during the ceremony. “Libraries welcome everyone, from infancy to the ageless. Here you’ll discover something so unexpected on which I could never begin to put a value — relationships with people.”

Jay Crafton of BSHM Architects, who worked on the project, said the renovation started last fall. The idea behind the sleek metal-paneled design was to make the doors look more inviting and to marry the two entrances so the community room would feel less separate, he said.

Library board member David Bailey said funding for the project came from the library’s cash reserve.

About 20 years ago, the library building was completely redone, said Bailey, and since then, many small renovations have been done. He said the next planned project is to repave the parking lot and update some aspects of the interior design.

Local artist Linda Clark also unveiled a book-inspired painted eagle statue in the new breezeway. The project was funded by the Kerola family and is meant to be the first of many statues of its kind, funded by community members and designed by local artists.

“The goal is to see eagles all over town,” said Clark, who compared the project to the fiberglass penguin project by Youngstown State University many years ago. The Harding Park meeting house committee, which is spearheading the “Flight of the Eagles” project, is looking for more full or partial sponsorships to purchase more of the fiberglass eagles, which cost $2,000 each.

She said the plan for the next eagle is to have students from Hubbard High School submit designs. Hubbard High School workshop students already participated in the installation of the first eagle by building the wooden pedestal on which it sits, Clark said.

The library celebrated the entranceways and statue with cake, a door prize raffle, and live bunnies and chickens for children to pet. Hubbard Councilman Benjamin Kyle presented Williams and Bailey with a proclamation on behalf of state Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, who was unable to attend the ceremony.