By Lori Szepelak|
WEST SPRINGFIELD – The former Immaculate Conception Catholic School, 511 Main St., has new life with the temporary relocation of the West Springfield Public Library.
“The school was a perfect temporary site for us,” Nancy Siegel, assistant director, told ,Reminder Publications.
Jane Barrientos of West Springfield, a longtime library patron, echoed those sentiments.
“I love the building with the large windows and natural light,” she said.
Mary Kronholm and Jan Resnick, representing the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, will be among those in attendance.
“We are looking at a fall 2015 date for reopening the Park Street site,” Siegel said.
The former school is adjacent to the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church at 475 Main St. Town officials entered into an agreement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield to lease the school building for at least 18 months.
Father James Longe noted in a February message to parishioners that the monthly rental fee will be “paying off back debt, accomplishing present needs and starting a nest egg for the capital improvement of the entire property.” Longe added that the interior of the church would receive priority with the funds.
At press time, Longe was on active duty with the United States Air Force in Dover, Del.
While the long, wide corridors of both the main floor and lower level were relatively quiet on the morning of May 2, staff members were busy putting finishing touches on plans for summer programs.
“We are excited to be able to offer our popular Music Sandwiched In series at this site,” Siegel said.
“Music Sandwiched In,” a lunchtime concert series sponsored by The Friends of the West Springfield Public Library and the library staff, kicks off May 9 with singer Cameron Sutphin. Sutphin wrote and recorded his 2011 album titled “My Guitar And Me.”
The series continues on May 23 with Christa Joy who weaves compelling melodies with thoughtful lyrics that find meaning and magic in everyday life. Her debut album, “Ready or Not,” was released in 2012.
Tom Coburn takes to the piano and guitar, along with guests Jeff King on upright bass and Ed Balon on drums, for a set of original songs and a few covers on June 6.
On June 20, jazz quartet Flava Evolution will blend 1970s soul and balladry for a performance that is unique and fresh.
All performances are conducted from noon to 1 p.m. in the adult program room. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch or a snack to enjoy during the concert.
Siegel noted that a “bonus” performance is slated May 19 from 7 to 8 p.m. titled “An After Dinner Treat” featuring the Solstice Sackbuts. The trio of trombonists will take attendees on a musical tour that starts in the Renaissance and continues through the ages with classical, pop, and jazz tunes.
In addition to musical programs, the library offers a wealth of offerings for young people and adults throughout the year.
In May for young people on the lower level, “Chess Masters” will be offered May 9 and May 23, both at 3:30 p.m., an Art Club will gather on May 20 at 3:45 p.m., a Bookworms Book Club meets May 22 at 3:45 p.m., and a Lego Club meets May 27 at 3:45 p.m.
For people interested in learning about email basics, classes are planned May 13 and 27 from noon to 2 p.m.
Throughout both floors there are also “cozy spots” to get comfortable to relax and read, according to Siegel.
Library hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 736-4561 or visit www.wspl.org.
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