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New Jefferson Avenue Library Nearing Completion

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Despite recent funding cuts that have shut down some area libraries, a brand new one will soon open its doors on Buffalo's East Side.

The much anticipated completion of the North Jefferson Library is finally nearing an end. Construction first began back in October of 2003.

Masten District Council member Antoine Thompson says it has been a long, long struggle, but it will be worth the wait. He says one of the final touches to the building is the door to the new branch.

"It's an African village concept," Thompson said. "We had a citizen participation process on the concepts for the door. One of the artists who actually designed it had a tremendous amount of citizen input. It is something that many people will be coming to see."

Thompson's office tells WBFO News that Mayor Masiello is expected to hold a ribbon cutting for the new North Jefferson Library this Thursday.

The city and Wendt Foundation have provided the funding for the $4.2 million project. The new branch will feature reading rooms for children, teens and adults. It will feature an African American resource room and an auditorium.

The library will be named after the late Frank Merriweather, founder and editor of the "Criterion" newspaper.

The new building is part of the on-going effort by the city to revitalize Jefferson Ave. Thompson says the city is expected to receive a $200,000 state grant for more Jefferson Avenue projects. It is part of the state's Main Street program designed to stimulate community revitalization.