Will the West Pittston Library go to church?

June 27th, 2015 1:20 am

First Posted: 4/5/2013

Will the West Pittston Library be on the move again? This time to the First Presbyterian Church across Exeter Avenue?

In 2009 the library announced it would move from its 1920s-era building on Exeter Avenue into the former American Legion Building at 316 Linden Street and build an addition on that building to house the library and a community center.

The building and land were to be donated by Clifford Melbeger. But before the project could be carried out the flood of September 2011 damaged both the existing library and the planned new site.

After the flood, the library — with tremendous support from West Pittston, other libraries and Melbeger who provided temporary storage — moved into a former Blockbuster video store in Insalaco shopping center on Wyoming Avenue, while the old site on Exeter Avenue was renovated

Last year the library moved back to it’s old site on Exeter Ave and armed with a $1 million grant began planning an expansion that would double the library’s 5,000 square foot space.

Now, though librarian Anne Bramlett-Barr could not confirm it, the library may move across the street to the Presbyterian Church. She deferred to library board president John Panzitta who did not return a call.

One thing is for certain, the Presbyterian congregation will not be going back into the church which was extensively damaged by the flood.

“We decided we’re not going back. The cost is just too high,” the pastor, Rev. James Thyren said.

“We are entertaining an opportunity to repurpose the church,” he added.

Rev Thyren confirmed he is negotiating with the library board. “The library is in process of evaluating if they can make an offer. We’re trying to make a fair deal and we think it’s doable.”

Rev. Thyren said the congregation will continue to hold services in the former St. Cecilia’s parish church in Exeter, where, he said, “we are able to do 98 percent of what we were doing.”

Long-range plans for the Presbyterian congregation depend on selling the West Pittston church.