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Powhatan Point library relocation to former church site celebrated

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON THE FAIRBANKS siblings, Ellie, 3, and Louie, 5, attend the open house and grand opening celebration of the new Powhatan Point Public Library location on Friday. They are the children of Karley Fairbanks, who serves as fiscal officer of the Belmont County District Library.

POWHATAN POINT — Patrons of the Powhatan Point Public Library, the board of trustees and others turned out Friday for a grand opening celebration and open house at the facility’s new location.

Anthony Orsini, director of the Belmont County District Library, was happy with the turnout for the event that had been delayed because of COVID-19 concerns.

“We hope everyone has a good time,” Orsini said as people walked around the library and talked with each other.

The library’s new location is in the former St. Vianney Catholic Church, which offers double the amount of space as the old building and has a large parking lot as well.

Karley Fairbanks, fiscal officer for the district library, brought her children Louie, 5, and Ellie, 3, to the opening.

“I think it is well done and a long time coming for the community of Powhatan,” Fairbanks said. “It looks beautiful.”

The church building was purchased by the Hendershot family, who in turn is leasing it to the library. The old library building has been sold. The library has retained many of the former church’s details including the stained glass windows, light fixtures and original woodwork.

Jan Brubaker of Powhatan Point brought her grandson Rex Grover, 5, to the open house.

“I think it’s great. We come to the storytimes here. It’s so much bigger and it’s beautiful in here,” she said.

Library board of trustees member Richard Hord was also impressed with the new location.

“This is a wonderful facility. They did an excellent job and this is an excellent location. It’s really nice,” Hord said, adding the fact that it was previously a church may provide some patrons with “extra inspiration.”

Jane Stratton, Powhatan Point Public Library branch manager, was excited about the new location.

“I am just so appreciative of the Hendershot family for providing us with this larger facility,” Stratton said. “We have more space for storytimes, the book club and materials.”

Stratton said the large parking lot makes it safer for families to bring their children to the library, and it is easier for patrons in general to access the building.

Powhatan resident Sally Hotlosz was a parishioner at the church for many years before it closed in October 2018. It combined with St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Shadyside, where she now attends services. She noted she was happy the Hendershot family purchased the church building so it could be used again.

“It’s a great asset to the community,” Hotlosz said, adding she was glad many of the details of the church were kept.

Library board of trustees members Keith Sommers and Bonnie Cook also described the new location as “wonderful.”

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