NORTH AMHERST LIBRARY OPENS DURING CONSTRUCTION AT 81 COWLS ROAD, NORTH SQUARE, IN THE MILL DISTRICT
During months-long renovations, the North Amherst Library will be open to resident readers, due to the successful grass roots organizing of the District One Neighborhood Association (DONA) requesting the space and the generosity of WD Cowls donating it. “Books are being moved, computers are being installed, seating is being placed, and opening is imminent,” says George Hicks-Richards, Jones Library Facilities Supervisor. “81 Cowls Road features complete accessibility, including a public bathroom and additional square footage for books, computers, seating, and storytimes” says Community Development Director Arthur Haskins, who oversaw the space buildout.
“Working with Cinda, Hannah, and Arthur has been a wonderful experience I hope this is just the beginning of our partnership. I truly thank the Cowls team for their generosity, dedication to the Town of Amherst, and for their commitment to provide a high-quality space for Library services in North Amherst. I cannot wait for our first Mill District Storytime!” says Sharon Sharry, Jones Library Director.
The Mill District is the 9th regeneration of North Amherst’s commercial center – just north of the historic intersection featuring the old North Amherst Church, Library, and School. Where many river-reliant factories and farms historically were located, The Mill District used to be referred to as Amherst’s Dirty Hands District. Today it features a growing collection of locally-owned shops, adjacent to outdoor recreational amenities that North Amherst is known for. “We clean up pretty well,” says Cinda Jones, whose family has been on what’s now the corner of Cowls and Montague Roads since before the North Precinct of Hadley became Amherst in the mid-1700s. “With DONA, we’re respecting the past and working toward a sustainable future.”
Meg Gage of DONA says “We’re thrilled North Amherst’s library books aren’t being sent to other parts of town. We appreciate how temporarily locating the library in The Mill District will help this young part of old North Amherst become better known and appreciated. Enormous thanks to the Mill District for generously donating the space. DONA would like to help develop creative programming to draw people to the temporary location.”
The Mill District, North Amherst was created to invigorate community connections in the Internet age providing experiential retail, great eats, and lots of fun for all ages. 7,000sf of retail space remains available for lease. Existing tenants include Balanced Birch Pilates and Gyrotonics; The Closet; Graze Craze; The Mill District General Store and Local Art Gallery; The Lift Salon; a new restaurant (about to be announced); Cowls Building Supply; Provisions; and the Riverside Park Shops including Amherst House of Pizza, Shine Laundry, and Big Guy Liquors. An international grocery store is set to open in August.
For up-to-date community and event information see https://themilldistrictna.com/events/ and@TheMillDistrictNA on social.