Over 2,100 people attended the grand opening of the new Meramec Valley Branch on Wednesday, May 15. The new branch is located at 1501 San Simeon Way near Fenton, MO. The previous location of the Meramec Valley Branch was the smallest branch in the Library District, measuring 2,690 square feet. The new branch is a full service library encompassing 21,000 square feet. Meramec Valley was the 17th branch to be renovated or replaced as part of the Your Library Renewed campaign.
A large crowd gathered outside before doors opened at 9am. Library Director Kristen Sorth welcomed patrons to their new branch, thanking them for their input in designing the new branch before cutting the ribbon with Library board members, staff and community representatives.
The children’s area of the branch is the third location to feature a Discovery Zone–a space designed to encourage children to engage, play and learn. The space quickly filled with excited parents and children eager to explore. The pneumatic tube wall was especially popular–kids can put scarves and other soft objects into the tubes and watch as air blows them through to the other side. The interactive touch screens doubled as an art canvas thanks to a painting app; kids were also able to play educational games on the screens. The race track had a steady line of kids waiting to build their own cars and time them as they went down the track. The 250-square foot play house was full of kids engaged in imaginative play.
Fenton resident Barbara Doshi attended the opening and said, “I have lived in Fenton for 25 years and I have waited and waited for this library and it has far exceeded my expectations. It is absolutely beautiful! It’s clean, it’s huge and they’ve thought of everyone. You’ve got the quiet area, the children’s area, you have the outside area. I love it, it was worth the wait.”
Other amenities at the new branch include three private study rooms, a quiet reading room, a community meeting room with a capacity of 150, a business center, a community garden (spring 2020), a 1/3 mile walking path, and an outdoor reading deck.