It didn’t take long for friends Donna Garrett, Kim Spencer and Val Merriman to make good use of the new Asante Library, 16755 W. Vereda Solana Drive, moments after it opened its doors on Feb. 1.
The three neighbors in the Desert Oasis subdivision, which is next to the new library, found one of the see-through study rooms open, and broke out the card game “Phase 10.” Although, truth be told, they needed to read the rules first.
“It’s so nice to have one so close,” Ms. Garrett said about the library.
The trio didn’t mind that they were so exposed in the study room. In fact, Ms. Spencer said the “openness” of the library is what she loved about it.
The city opened its third library branch in grand style with a ribbon-cutting that featured dignitaries such as U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Maricopa County Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman and players from the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals in advance of the 2020 spring training season.
Mr. Hickman said the $5.1 million library’s opening was big enough to bring out a congresswoman.
Ms. Lesko responded, “It’s great to be here with rational people who aren’t bickering all the time,” drawing laughs from the few hundred people that came out to attend the official opening of Surprise’s newest asset.
It’s the first library in the northern area of Surprise. The other two branches — the Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Ave., and the Hollyhock Library, 15844 N. Hollyhock St. — are in the City Center and Original Town Site, respectively.
“It’s awesome, especially [the grand opening],” said Katie Sandberg, 34, who along with her husband brought their two children. Ms. Sandberg said the library will be invaluable because they home school the children.
“The family having our own library is amazing,” Ms. Sandberg said.
It’s also the first of the three libraries with meeting rooms.
“This library will be a place to learn, a place to collaborate, a place to be creative and a place to gather,” said Surprise Parks and Recreation Director Donna Miller.
The 10,000-square-foot library has dedicated areas for children and teens, 16 computers, free Wi-Fi, self-service printing (including wireless printing), three reservable study rooms, and unobstructed views of Asante Community Park and the White Tank Mountains.
“When you go inside, it really blow your socks off,” said Councilman Roland Winters, who serves northern Surprise’s District 1.
It’s open at 10 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and closes at 7 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.
At the grand opening dedication, Mayor Skip Hall quoted Dr. Seuss and gave other inspirational quotes to help open it.
“I hope that this library closer to our northern residents many more children will find the right book they’ll feel passionate about reading,” Mr. Hall said.
Mr. Winters: “Education is a wonderful thing. If you’re not literate, you miss a lot.”
Editor’s Note: Jason Stone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit yourvalley.net.