New River Branch Library celebrates its revival

Artwork adorned the walls of the main lobby.
A butterfly release was held outdoors.

This sign helps guide visitors to New River Branch Library and its Discovery Gardens, at 34043 State Road 54, in Wesley Chapel, near Zephyrhills. The library has been updated through an extensive renovation.(Fred Bellet)

Speakers addressed the crowd, and people toured the building and grounds, as the New River Branch Library, at 34043 State Road 54, celebrated its rededication.

The $2.8 million project — including design,construction, furnishings, technology and associated expenses — is one of seven library renovation projects being completed through General Obligation bonds approved by voters in 2018.

From the outside, New River’s red brick building,constructed in 1991, looks much the same.

But now, the Discovery Gardens is on the east side of the building, and additional trees and flowering plants on the library’s campus give the property a fresh, new look.

Indoors, the library space is brighter and more open. The update includes new flooring, restrooms, seating and technology.

The space has been reconfigured to provide more opportunities for public use.

There’s a children’s room, a teen room, study rooms, a community room and other spaces designed to meet various needs.

This library is far more than just a place to read and check out books.

It’s a place where adults gather to do chair yoga, crochet or knit; children gather for story time; and, people of all ages garden and take advantage of the library’s many other offerings.

Dignitaries and people involved in the renovation project prepare to perform the ribbon-cutting, signaling the rededication of the New River Branch Library.

Discovery Gardens is located on the east side of New River Branch Library. Because of its location, it gets plenty of early morning sunshine. Four-year-old Riley Roby is watering some of the lettuce leaf basil and other vegetables growing in the garden. The Wesley Chapel boy was there with his mom, Bethany, and his 1-year-old brother, Judah.

A sunflower blooms in the Discovery Gardens at the New River Branch
Library.

Jane Kane, left, and Oaklee Gagnon, right, both of Dade City, check out the seed library for those wanting to cultivate plants or flowers. The two women were among members of the Friends of the Library.

George Tharin, senior project architect from Williamson Design Associates, shares details about the library’s update.

Ted Williamson, of Williamson Design Associates, spoke during the rededication ceremony.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the butterfly release andtouring through the New River Library, Judy Semonick, left, of Wesley Chapel, and Pat Smith, of Zephyrhills, take a break inside the library to cool down.

Angelo Liranzo was one of the event’s masters of ceremonies who introduced people who played a role in revitalizing the library and creating the Discovery Gardens. Normally, Liranzo is based at the Hugh Embry Branch Library, in Dade City.