There was genuine excitement in the air as County Commissioner Sarah Arnold welcomed the large group in attendance and Kevin Kennedy from HBM Architects presented four potential designs for the new Hastings Community Center and Library. Inspiration for the design was drawn from historical buildings, past and present, within the community. The architect obtained input from more than 130 residents through a survey distributed throughout the community, and their team completed additional research on the history of the community and the positive impact it played in St. Johns County. Focal points of the building included:
- Having natural light within the Center
- Having the ability to see activity inside the building from the street
- Showcasing the entry and providing ease of access for all
- Making sure the Center was functional and flexible to meet the needs of the community
- Providing an aesthetically pleasing building that complemented the community and streetscape
Residents in attendance had the opportunity to choose their favorite design and vote on the exterior's construction style.
This announcement of the Community Center and Library is another example of renewed investment and energy in Hastings. First Coast Technical College is also looking to add an additional campus in Hastings to serve the community and surrounding area and Comcast recently was awarded a 5.4-million-dollar grant to run additional fiber optic internet to homes in the region. The addition of the FCTC Campus and high-speed internet to underserved areas will enhance the education and workforce development training opportunities and generate additional investment in Hastings.