WATERVILLE SOUTH END NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION TOOL LIBRARY OPENING
October 27, 2018 was the grand opening of Waterville’s South End Tool Shed Library, a project that began in the fall of 2017, when Theaster Gates met with a group that included the South End Neighborhood Association and students in Ben Lisle’s course “Art, Community, and Urbanism” course. The South End is one of Waterville’s oldest communities of Franco-American heritage and also currently one of the most underserved communities in Waterville. During Gates’ visit, the topic of neighborhood revitalization was discussed and one of the issues raised was a lack of access to tools and equipment for landscaping and property maintenance. Colby student Danya Smith ’20 dedicated his semester project to solving this problem, and he and community partners created the shed. The result is a fully stocked tool shed available to South End residents who may check out yard tools for the day at no cost. Community volunteers maintain the facility and its inventory. The success of the tool shed library involved many partners: the Lunder Institute for American Art, the Colby College Museum of Art, Colby’s Office of Civic Engagement, Waterville Creates, South End Neighborhood Association, Waterville Community Land Trust, South End Teen Center, City of Waterville, Waterville Parks and Recreation, and Home Depot. Chuck Lakin and friends were responsible for building the tool shed structure and Doug Frati’s wood carvings grace the exterior of the shed.
Photos by Michael Seamans.