Got plans for the weekend? If not, we suggest checking out the brand spankin’ new, state-of-the-art East Asheville Library at 902 Tunnel Rd. The site, which has been closed for construction since late December of 2019, will officially reopen to the public on Sat., May 1 at 12 p.m. To celebrate the completion of the ~$6.9 million project, there will be an on-site grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.
While many are simply excited to have their neighborhood library back, the revamped space is also symbolic for what’s to come across Buncombe County. Jim Blanton, Buncombe County Library Director, has cited the new building as “the standard for Buncombe County’s library system moving forward.”
So, what’s so innovative about it? For starters, it’s the county’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. This means that it’s recognized as a healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green building by the most widely used green building rating system in the world. To achieve this status, it’s been designed with a variety of energy efficiencies, including water-use reductions, optimized energy systems, use of low-emitting materials, electric vehicle charging stations + more.
The 13,906 sqft building — which is now 5 times bigger than the original — has also bulked up its facilities, transforming the space into what Jim describes as “a vibrant hub for discovery and engagement.” It will be the first of Buncombe’s libraries to offer rooms for studying and small group meetings, including a dedicated space for art programming, a children’s activities room + a 1,402 sqft community room that’s equipped with projectors.
Adjacent to the building, there’s also a community playground + basketball court, as well as new crosswalks that have been installed at Tunnel and Avon roads in order to help neighbors safely walk to the site. Fun fact: These features were developed as a result of an extensive community input process, which involved numerous community sessions.
Ready to see what all the hype is about? Stop by and check it out during its hours of operation: Tuesday, 2-7:00 p.m., Wednesday + Thursday (1-6:00 p.m.), and Friday + Saturday (10 a.m.- 2 p.m.)