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Spanish Fork looks forward to new chapter with library groundbreaking



SPANISH FORK, Utah – Spanish Fork city officials broke ground this week on a new library, but manufacturing delays mean that the building won’t be open to the public for another two years.

The new building, named Library Hall, is being built on Center Street and Main Street, adjacent to the current library building and in a lot where an old church used to be.

“And so gathering has been what has been happening in this spot for many, many years,” Spanish Fork City Manager Seth Perrins said during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday. “And as we open Library Hall as a community, we will continue to gather. And great things will happen, just like have happened in the past.”

City officials and staff have spent several years envisioning, discussing and designing the incoming building.

“I think, for a number of years, countless staff and board members have dreamt of this day of having a new library,” said Library Director Scott Aylett, who added that “we are so excited today to pass the baton from a wonderful group that helped build this dream conceptually, and now to the crew that will build it physically.”

Nick Slye, executive vice president of Westland Construction, told the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony that “this building’s going to be absolutely beautiful,” noting that architects and city staff “did a fantastic job trying to think what the citizens would want and trying to envision that and put it in drawings.”

But Slye added that there had “been a few challenges” getting to the construction phase of the project due to “a pretty volatile market out there.”

“(There are) a few big hiccups that we’re dealing with right now,” he said. “Steel is a major problem, it’s going to have a pretty good delay on our project as we get started.”

Slye continued, “So as you’re driving by, and you’re seeing and things aren’t moving as fast, then you’ll kind of have an understanding of why.”

As a result of the steel delay, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the library will be pushed to spring 2023, according to Spanish Fork City Councilmember Stacy Beck.

“So this will take a little bit longer, but we are super excited,” Beck said.

Mayor Steve Leifson recalled fond memories as a teenager at the old library building, which was built in 1965 and “was one of the premiere buildings of Spanish Fork at that time.”

“And we’d go there quite often,” said Leifson. “I don’t know if we ever opened a book, but we’d go there because that’s where you could meet girls. And so we spent a lot of time there and got thrown out a few times, but we kept coming back. … So it was kind of a neat thing.”

City officials initially considered building the library in other locations, including further west near the Spanish Fork Police Department. Leifson said he was “glad that we landed on this spot … because, to me, a library is kind of the heart of a city. And the heart of a city needs to be in the center of the city.

“This is great to be able to be here today, to see a vision that has come to pass over the years,” the mayor said. “There’s a lot of people that are grateful to see this new library be built. It’s pretty special.”