VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Millions of dollars in renovations are going to libraries across the resort city. 

The Princess Anne Area Library is one of several libraries that have received money for a major renovation. Residents tell 10 On Your Side they are excited about the new space and what it has to offer for the community. 

For 15 years, Virginia Beach resident Al Howard, a retired teacher and veteran, has walked through the doors here at the Princess Anne Area Library.

“I missed it whenever it was closed,” Howard said. The library was closed for eight months for renovations. 

“[My first thought when I entered the space] was how open it is, how light and airy, and they moved the stacks.”

According to the branch manager of Princess Anne Library, Ashley Barrineau, the library has many new additions. 

“It is a vibrant piece of the community to have libraries, they are known to make a community more resilient, and it adds to people’s health to have a good library,” Barrineau said.

The library now has new study pods, an expanded teen area, a book nook area where you can buy books, self-checkouts, new carpet and study rooms for the public to use.

There is also a new children’s area and classroom for all to enjoy, including Ashley Temooche. “I love the room that it’s separate so they have room to play, and the classroom is inside.” 

The construction is part of a $5.8 million capital improvement program to renovate eight Virginia Beach public libraries. Kempsville and Bayside libraries were renovated earlier this year.

Construction is ongoing at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, which is still open during the upgrades. Four remaining libraries including Great Neck, Oceanfront, Pungo-Blackwater and Windsor Woods, are expected to begin renovations later this year.

“People need to know how to read and they need to have access to books they can’t afford and these books are basically free for everyone and that means a lot,” said Howard.