Officials to hold ceremony for restoration of new library



    After more than 100 years of existence and decades of deterioration, the Brigham Young Academy will finally start a new chapter Friday morning as the Provo library.

    City officials will host a commencement ceremony on the west side of Academy Square Friday at 10 a.m. to celebrate the beginning of the building’s restoration.

    The groundbreaking will open with the Brigham Young Community Band playing while key speakers and officials arrive in horse-drawn carriages.

    Mayor Lewis K. Billings will welcome all in attendance, and then announce the keynote speakers.

    Mark Hathaway, Provo City Council chair, will speak on the significance of the library at Academy Square to Provo.

    Following Hathaway’s remarks, Lisbeth Henning, executive director for the Utah Heritage Foundation, will speak on the significance of the architecture at Academy Square.

    “The library at Academy Square is one of the most significant landmarks in the state of Utah and maybe even in the Western region both architecturally and historically,” Henning said. “This is truly a day we have waited for for many, many years. The new library is not only historically important, but I believe it will be a focal point in the Provo community.”

    Douglas Smoot, a member of the Brigham Young Academy Foundation, Steven Barsuhn, the Provo City Library Board chair and Gene Nelson, the Provo City Library Director, will also speak.

    After the remarks Billings will invite designated participants, such as government officials, major donors, city council members and the Library Construction Oversight Committee, to turn a shovel of earth.

    Billings will close the ceremony with some final remarks.

    Those in attendance at Friday’s event will have the opportunity to look at displays and visit with Provo officials.

    The Academy Square is predicted to be finished sometime early in 2001.

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