Correction, 4/28/21, 3 p.m.: A previous version of this post misidentified the architectural firm, Mason Blau and Associates, Inc., as well as Mike Mason’s name. The Gabber apologizes for the error.
The St. Pete Beach Public Library marked its official reopening after the recent $2.1 million renovation in a grand ribbon cutting ceremony on April 26 at 9:30 a.m.
The crowd of city staff and members of the community cheered when Library Director Betcinda Kettells and St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson cut the ribbon in front of the library entrance with giant shears.
“This was my first ribbon-cutting and I think it went very well and I’m just so grateful for all of the people who put so much effort in,” Kettells said. “This is a great moment in the history of the community and the library. So many people came out to show how important this is.”
The architects who reconstructed and redesigned the library were present at the event. Mike Mason of Mason Blau and Associates, Inc. spoke of the journey to get to the finished product, one that honors the original mid-century aesthetic.
“It’s been a four-year process to get to today and so, we’re very happy. With older buildings you find that there’s things that need to be upgraded. The more we got into it, the more we turned it into a total renovation project,” Mason said.
St. Pete Beach Vice Mayor Ward Friszolowski, whose mother was one of the founding donors to the original library, praised the architects and team behind reshaping the building.
“You can tell he took care of the designs,” Friszolowski said. “Nice and clean and bright – cheerful inside.”
The library celebrates its official re-opening with events throughout the week. Tuesday April, 27 was Kids’ Day; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are district days and Saturday is a Bookend celebration day.
“Virtually it is a brand new building,” Mason said, adding that they were “more than happy with the outcome.”
More at spblibrary.com.