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UP Library Groundbreaking Event Hard hats and shovels were used by University Park city officials and others involved with the library project during the groundbreaking ceremony.

A crowd of about 100 people gathered at a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of the new University Park library at 9 a.m. Thursday at The Plaza at Preston Center.

The event began with statements from University Park officials and others affiliated with the library project and ended with a construction team using an excavator to remove a portion of the current building at the location, which is being torn down to be replaced by the new library facility.

University Park Mayor Richard Davis led the event and made the opening statements.

"This is a monumental, very special day indeed," Davis said.

Susan Hall, the president of the Friends of the University Park Library association, said the library's new home will allow for it to play a bigger role in the community and will have several new features that the library's current location is lacking.

"We'll have state-of-the-art technology, including a self-checkout system," Hall said.

Mike Geisler, the proper manager for The Plaza at Preston Center, also spoke at the ceremony and former University Park Mayor Blackie Holmes was in attendance.

The new library will total 17,500 square feet and will have a designated teen area, group study room and a quiet reading reading room in addition to a variety of other amenities, according to the city website. The new library will be located primarily on the second floor of a new building that is being constructed on the southeast side of The Plaza at Preston Center and is scheduled to open in the beginning of 2013.

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