Kennebunk High School Librarian Joy Russo shows off the new library space opening soon as part of a $42.8 million renovation of the school. Credit: Donna Buttarazzi | York County Coast Star

Another phase of the $42.8 million renovation project at Kennebunk High School is nearing completion, with the new library, four math classrooms, a science lab, and the refurbished gymnasium slated for opening in the next few weeks.

Librarian Joy Russo couldn’t contain her enthusiasm as she stood in the middle of the new library pointing out all of the different spaces for students to work in the bright, inviting collaborative space.

“They can work together in the small group study rooms. We’re going to put soft seating between the stacks so they can have a quiet area,” Russo said. “And we’ll have lots of collaborative spaces too.′

Russo has been the librarian at KHS for 32 years. She’s waited a long time for a space like this. “I’ve wanted a place for everyone to feel comfortable, and that’s what this is. Everybody can feel comfortable here,” Russo said. “And we’re centrally located, it’s just wonderful.”

“That’s what we’ve wanted for years,” KHS Principal Sue Cressey said. “When you walk in the door, you see a library, which speaks to what we are all about.”

Two curved counter spaces where Russo and library tech Mary Cavagnaro will work, also have high stools where students can sit and work. A counter top and stools also line the windows at the front of the library facing the main lobby. Floor to ceiling windows face the courtyard bringing the outside in, and creating plenty of natural light.

Cressey said the kids are excited to be able to use the new library, and all of the new spaces.

When students return from Christmas break the new classrooms will be ready, and two of the portables on the front lawn will be empty and hauled off.

“These teachers and kids have always done wonderful things, now they have the tools and the space they need to match it,” Cressey said.

The new weight room is in the process of being set up, and athletic offices, the trainers office, and nurses office will all be opened and occupied in January.

Cressey said the refurbished gym, with all new flooring may not be completed until later in the month, but it should be online for at least part of the basketball season.

Construction is in full swing on the 1939 building, the final phase of the project, and is on track for full completion by fall, Cressey said.

Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.