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At long last, an official date has been set for the reopening of the downtown Charleston location of the Kanawha County Public Library.

In a public meeting Monday evening, the Kanawha County Library Board announced plans to host a grand reopening Tuesday, May 10 — nearly two years from the day the first book was put into storage.

In late May 2020, the library temporarily moved from its Capitol Street location to the Charleston Town Center mall.

Meanwhile, the 100-year-old building on Capitol Street was renovated, remodeled and updated for 21st century patrons.

The May 10 grand opening will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and guest speakers.

Marketing and Development Manager Stan Howell said the library also planned a soft opening the week prior, to help identify any possible rough spots or last-minute concerns.

A public open house is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, for patrons who might miss the weekday ribbon cutting and grand opening.

Plans for a hundred day celebration of the library are in the works.

The May opening is later than library officials intended. The board hoped the main branch would be open at least a month earlier, but construction delays pushed back the return of services.

Reporting for the project building committee, library board vice president Benjamin Thomas said substantial completion of construction should be wrapped up by the end of January, though contractors would still be on site for up to 45 days finishing work.

Meanwhile, library staff and materials will begin returning to the downtown location over the next couple of weeks.

Bill Lynch covers entertainment. He can be reached at 304-348-5195 or lynch@hdmediallc.com. Follow @lostHwys on Twitter and @billiscap on Instagram.

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