Campaign for Coyle Free Library:

A $2.5 million community fundraising effort





Coyle Campaign Case Statement


“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”

--Albert Einstein

The Project

The Coyle Free Library’s Greek-style portico with its six columns is distinctive.  It sends a signal to visitors that this is an important civic building where significant activities take place.  Since 1964, the Library has been in this building, once the town’s Post Office.  The last major improvement took place in 1980 when a successful campaign added square footage, installed an elevator, and converted the basement into a children’s library.


The project will restore the exterior and other historic parts of the building.  The renovation and building project will add new, flexible square footage to support the future needs of the Coyle Free Library and new programs of the Franklin County Library System.  Some of the existing building will be demolished and Hazardous Materials Mitigation undertaken.  After demolition, a complementary yet modern addition will be constructed to harmonize with the historic portion of the building. The campus also has what is believed to be the only remaining English Elm Tree in downtown Chambersburg. It stands tall and proud at the corner of King & Main.


The addition will include a theater on the Lower-Level (basement) to encourage small-group lectures, theater and cultural arts.  The lower level will also be home to a conference room to seat up to 120 as well as a “creation station” studio.   A reception and circulation area will be designed on the Main Level (first floor) to enhance the flow of library visitors through the building.  It will feature a new Teen Room and Coyle Caf´┐Ż.  The children’s library, currently in the basement, will be moved to this main level and will feature a story time room, as well as an outdoor activity area.   Children will look through the new wall of windows onto a newly designed backyard space full of nature and gardens. 


The Second Level (second floor) will provide space for the fiction and nonfiction collections, library services, offices, an expanded genealogy center, a business center, huddle rooms and conference areas.  Mezzanine seating will overlook the first floor.  The top floor will be the Terrace Level consisting of a glass Conservatory and an outdoor terrace space, a “living roof.”  The Conservatory will house an area for lectures, teas, and public and private events along with a kitchenette capable of catering small events. The living roof will bring light to the lower floors and reduce heating, ventilating and air conditioning costs, thus closing the gap between traditional building energy systems and net zero building energy systems.  Furthermore, energy studies show that due to the efficiency of the new construction the utility bills for operating Coyle should not increase even though the size and occupancy of the building will increase.

Supporting the Project

Support for the project will come from federal, state, and local grants; foundations; corporations; businesses; churches; individuals; and fundraising events.  Those interested in supporting the project can make a one-time gift or pledge their support over five years.  Gifts of all sizes are needed, it will take everyone’s support to renovate and expand this community treasure that serves everyone in our community.  Sound stewardship has extended the life of the present building, but an ambitious project is needed.  It is time to undertake a renovation and building project that will transform Coyle Free Library into a library for the 21st century.  Expansion plans are sound, library funding is available to offset total costs, and a community fundraising plan is in place, with naming opportunities, large and small, throughout the building.  The campaign will transform a community resource into a downtown destination and increase Chambersburg’s attractiveness to future employers and residents. A gift to the library is a gift to the community. Join us!



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