$10 million project means big changes at three York County libraries

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Mina Edmondson, Martin Library director, stands at a prototype of the service desk at the library, Monday, March 22, 2021, while talking about a $10 million expansion project slated for Martin and other county libraries. Bill Kalina photo

A new chapter is starting for three York County libraries — with $10 million going into expansive renovations and upgraded technology for teenagers.

Kreutz Creek Valley Library in Hellam Township, Kaltreider-Benfer Library in Red Lion and Martin Library in York City are undergoing major changes, including building renovations and new technology, according to York County Libraries President Robert Lambert.

"York countians love their libraries; they're heavily used," Lambert said. "At the end of the day, libraries provide a space for everybody."

The $10 million construction project divvied among the three libraries was funded through public and private donations, grants and fundraising campaigns and will fund all construction work and tech upgrades. 

The largest portion of the funding — $6 million — will go to renovate Martin Library, which is moving its teenage room from the basement to the second floor, with added space.

New technologies, including STEM programs and music and video production equipment, will be installed, Lambert said. 

"Teens need more opportunities and space to learn and engage," he added. "You give teens things to do, and they stay engaged and out of trouble."

At Martin Library, an extensive population of teenagers make use of services after school and over the summer. With these new services, Lambert said, he hopes more will take advantage of what the library has to offer.

In addition to interior modifications, a portion of the $2 million funding for Kreutz Creek will go to moving the library entirely.

For decades, Kreutz Creek Valley Library has operated out of a double-wide Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer. 

Kreutz Creek Valley Library Monday, March 22, 2021, will benefit from a $10 million expansion project slated for York County libraries. Bill Kalina photo

A donation of the former Hellam Township municipal building will allow the library to move into the space at 44 Walnut Springs Road, which will undergo a complete remodel, Lambert said.

The Kreutz Creek Valley Library will continue operating out of the trailer until work at the new building is complete.

"I'm just excited about the next chapter," Lambert said of the Kreutz Creek renovations. 

Mina Edmondson, Martin Library director, talks in the children's library, Monday, March 22, 2021, while outlining a $10 million expansion project slated for Martin and other county libraries. Bill Kalina photo

Construction at all three libraries has started or will begin soon. Kreutz Creek started construction earlier this month, and work at Martin Library will begin in April.

Kaltreider-Benfer Library will begin renovations in June. It is also getting upgrades in tech for teenagers, as well as a new children's library.  

Lambert did not have a timeline for completion of the Kaltreider-Benfer Library renovations.

"I'm excited about all of the library renovations," Lambert said. "We provide that space for people to come, socialize and learn."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the largest portion of funding is going to renovate Martin Library.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.