The new Aiea public library opened its doors Saturday on the site of the old Sugar Mill.
Grandfather Rodney Kim encourages Kysen and Arieyahnah to read every day.
“I hope this is going to be their hangout,” said Kim about the new library.
With the opening of the new $10.4 million public library in Aiea, his hope can now become reality.
Community leaders pushed for a new facility for decades. It took this one over a year to be built, but Kim says it was worth waiting for.
“This library is so much better. It’s double amount of the books and space,” said Kim.
17,000 square feet of shelves stocked with over 78,000 books, 8,000 DVDs and CDs and free wireless internet.
The buildings architecture is a mix of old and new. It’s designed after the sugar mill that once stood in its place and contractors tried to retain that industrial look. Glen Miura of contractor CDS International described what the design included.
“The exposed air conditioning ducts, the exposed red steel beam, the girders and the hanging industrial lights,” said Miura.
Contractors also used a special type of glass for the windows. The panes are double glazed with air in the middle, letting the good light in and keeping the heat out.
Although some readers have turn to things like eBooks over the years, officials say libraries are still popular and are used as community hubs.
"People come here to meet, to gather, to learn, to discuss, to have programs and that’s one of our more important roles these days,” said Baron Boroza of the Aiea Public Library.
The new library is part of a master plan for the area, which will include a senior center and historic trail.