Lexington’s West End adds access to the internet and literature in a convenient and familiar location

Black and Williams Neighborhood Community Center has improved its community room to offer access to Wi-Fi, Chromebooks, and books for all ages.

“Thanks to Councilmember Josh McCurn for this work on this room,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “This room relies on some strong partnerships, which are always important to making progress in Lexington.”

McCurn said, “I am thrilled for those living in and around the Georgetown Street Area Neighborhood who will now have easier access to Wi-Fi, Chromebooks, books for all ages, and a safe space to relax and gather with friends and family. From working to playing to learning, this room was designed to serve everyone’s needs and I am happy to see it officially opening to the community!”

For close to two years, Councilmember McCurn, who represents the 2nd District, has been working on revitalizing a community room, temporarily known as The Reading Room, in the Black and Williams Neighborhood Community Center. “As a former school in Lexington, seeing this building continue to give back to its neighbors, especially in an educational capacity, is special,” McCurn said.

Not having a library for the area started the conversation between McCurn and the Lexington Public Library, resulting in Director of Development, Marketing & Communications Anne Donworth and Outreach Services Manager Kelli Parmley visiting the site and making a plan of action on how they could help.

“We’re proud to be part of this partnership to create an inviting space for families and youth along the Georgetown Street corridor,” said Lexington Public Library Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “Our community is most successful when youth have a safe, welcoming place to learn, play, and grow.”

As partnerships were key to making this room a success, donations from Bluegrass Community & Technical College and Charter Communications provided the room with more amenities.

“Charter is committed to supporting the communities we serve, and that includes providing technology to help students and families access the internet so they can learn and study remotely,” said Charter Communications Vice President of Government Affairs, Jason Keller. “We welcome the opportunity to support the Georgetown Street Area Neighborhood and the efforts to help connect the local community.”

As former and current residents of the neighborhood, or graduates of the former school, members of the Black and Williams Center Board were a part of the conversation from the beginning, and welcome the additional services and programming to the neighborhood center.

“We are excited that the community has the opportunity to utilize The Reading Room for multiple purposes, especially being able to build their own home libraries by taking a book home,” said Georgetown Street Area Neighborhood Vice President and President of the Black and Williams Neighborhood Center Board Rolanda Woolfork.

The Black and Williams Neighborhood Center is located at 498 Georgetown St. and is currently open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.