SOMERSET -- Library Board President, Expansion Capital Campaign Co-Chair and longtime Somerset resident Kay Walsh reminded residents why libraries are the cultural heart of communities.

“A library’s not only a learning center, it enlightens and entertains and is a safe haven for people of all ages,” she said.

With that, the Village of Somerset arrived at the doorstep of its dream to build a new library, a dream that started a decade earlier under, then-Library Director Norma Scott.

Waves of community members joined members of the Library Board and construction team taking turns hoisting the symbolic shovels at a ground-breaking ceremony, held July 31 on the ground that will welcome the new library next spring.

“It’s a glorious day and it’s a wonderful event. We’re so happy that it’s actually happening and we look forward to this project moving forward shortly. This is really the start to revitalizing downtown and the library is the beginning of that process, the cultural center of the community and surrounding area.

With the expansion, we’ll be able to do more, provide more programs. The expansion will serve as the new library while the old library will be remodeled into meeting rooms which is much needed in the community. I was on the board 25 years ago and really didn’t expect to be on it now but I’m happy to be here,” said Walsh.

Plans call for the library expansion project to be completed in the spring of 2020.