Twp. Announces Major Donor With Re-opening of Belmont Hills Library
On Sunday, November 4th, 2018, the Belmont Hills Public Library reopened after a year-long renovation and expansion. The library received a 1,804 square-foot addition and the remainder of the library was updated with new paint, windows, lighting, furniture and carpeting. The additional space provides the community with a meeting room for 49 people, a new entrance and ADA-compliant restrooms. A reading patio, overlooking the Township Belmont Hills Pool and McMoran Park, was added with benches and electrical outlets. Other features of the renovation included updated Wi-Fi, and a laptop bar.
The key announcement of the celebration was the recognition of the major donor for the entire six-library project. This donor—former Pennsylvania State Sen. Constance Williams—helped jump-start the capital campaign about a decade ago with a $1 million contribution. Ms. Williams represented the 17th District from 2001 to 2009, and previously represented the 149th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1997 to 2001.
To recognize her donation, the children’s rooms in all six libraries will be named as Williams’ Family Children’s Library.
In addition to funds provided by Lower Merion Township, other contributors to the Lower Merion Library Foundation Capital Campaign supported the project. The Flink family donated $10,000 to sponsor the new rear lobby, and the Portnoy family donated $2,500 to support the Librarian’s Office. The Dellheim family made contributions to each of the six LMLS library renovation projects and the circulation desk was presented in their honor. The Library Board named the front entrance in honor of Jean Karol.
The Belmont Hills project was supported in part by a $500,000 grant from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education, with funds provided from the Keystone, Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.
An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the renovation. Welcoming remarks were provided by Township Commissioner George Manos, who serves as vice-president of the Lower Merion Library System Board of Directors. Other speakers included Township Commissioner Michael McKeon, State Rep. Pam DeLissio, State Sen. Daylin Leach, and Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Education/Commissioner of Libraries Glenn Miller.
John Mayer, a Belmont Hills Library Board member, thanked the many people who worked tirelessly to make the project successful. Charlie Bloom, president of the Lower Merion Library Foundation, thanked the many donors who contributed to the campaign and introduced Ms. Williams as the project’s major donor.
The Belmont Hills Public Library is the sixth and final library in Lower Merion Township to be renovated and expanded in a program that began 10 years ago. At that time, library supporters presented a bold plan to re-imagine all six Township libraries as welcoming spaces for residents of all ages to explore, learn, and connect to their community. The first project was the renovation to the Ludington Library, completed in 2012; Bala Cynwyd was completed in 2013; the Ardmore and Penn Wynne libraries re-opened in 2016; and Gladwyne was finished in 2017. The projects were completed with funding provided by the Township of Lower Merion, private donors and state grants.
The Belmont Hills Public Library resumed regular operating hours on Monday, November 5th: Monday-Tuesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday noon–8 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The library is closed on Fridays and Sundays.