Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:39PM - 268 Views

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John P. Cosgrove, whose donation of his life's library consisting of more than 1,000 books, artifacts, and other memorabilia, sparked a movement to expand the Pittston Memorial Library, will be on hand Thursday for the groundbreaking of the expansion which will bear his name, the Cosgrove Annex.

Cosgrove, 94, resides in Washington, D.C., where he has spent more than 70 years in the media. A Pittston native, he is a former president of the National Press Club. His donation of $50,000 was the first in a ongoing capital campaign to fund the annex.

The library's Board of Directors announced the groundbreaking for the new 5,175 square foot addition will be held Thursday, Nov. 15, at 3:30 p.m. on the library grounds, 47 Broad St., Pittston. The general public is welcome to attend.

The groundbreaking ceremony will mark the start of a significant step in expanding the library so that we can better serve the community and meet the growing demand for services, said Barbara Quinn, chairman of the library board of directors.

This is a dream come true and we are delighted that Mr. Cosgrove will be able to join us, she added.

Cosgrove has made several trips to the library since his original donation, much of which is on display in a Cosgrove room at the library.

It has been an amazing process so far and, now, the reality will be here soon. The staff and I cannot wait to be able to use the new space to provide expanded services. We are planning already. Thank you to everyone involved in the project to date and to those who have made financial contributions. We encourage everyone to visit the library to view the plans and to participate in the groundbreaking, said Anne Hogya, library director

The expansion project is expected to cost an estimated $1.2 million. The new addition will be built onto the rear of the current library facility.

Included in the new addition will be a state-of-the-art community/conference center equipped with a Smartboard, WiFi and a video-conferencing system. The center will be large enough to hold 100 people and will be available for community use for conferences, meetings, presentations, programs and seminars.

The new addition will also contain a larger children's section with additional book stacks, four computer stations and a play area; arts and crafts room; teen space with age-appropriate materials; kitchenette; coat room; entrance with vestibule for after-hours access; and bathroom facilities.

Funding for the project will come from a low-interest loan from Department of Agriculture Rural Development, which was secured with the help of Sen. Robert Casey; various governmental, corporate and private foundation grants; and a capital campaign currently underway and co-chaired by retired PA State Rep. Tom Tigue, of Hughestown, and Pat Solano, of Pittston Township, who has served as a senior advisor to numerous Pennsylvania governors.

Tigue headed a group of library representatives who joined Cosgrove in Washington to make the initial presentation to Sen. Casey.

Construction is expected to take six to seven months, dependent upon the weather.

The Capital Campaign Committee is still seeking donations and pledges.

Arrangements can be made to make donations or pledges in installments. Call Fundraising Director Carol Crane at 654-9565 Ext. 25 for additional information.

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