Claymont, DE – Governor Jack Markell, New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon, County Council President Chris Bullock, Councilman John Cartier and the Friends of Claymont Library will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Claymont Library at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.
The library is then scheduled to open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
County Executive Gordon said the grand opening of the Claymont Library would help the ongoing renaissance of this historically blue collar town in northeast Brandywine Hundred. The County Executive noted how things like beautiful libraries, a vibrant arts community, and ample recreational facilities are important to businesses desiring to locate new ventures or relocate existing industries to the area.
“In many ways, Claymont is emblematic of what has happened in all of New Castle County in terms of the economic downturn,” County Executive Gordon said. “For instance, we just learned that Evraz Claymont Steel will close down in December, just weeks before Christmas. A long time ago, the town lost a big part of its identity when Claymont High School closed down. The odds have been against Claymont.
“However, the good news is that Claymont has had a renaissance of which many people have worked hard to facilitate, including Councilman Bob Weiner, Councilman John Cartier and Brett Sadler, Executive Director of the Claymont Renaissance Development Corp. It wasn’t just them; that’s just to name a few. I look at this library as an integral part of not just the revitalization of Claymont, but of a renewed sense of the identity as I mentioned before. I hope everyone takes pride in this library and enjoys it.”
The media is invited to cover the ribbon cutting event on Friday. Presenters include Governor Markell, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock, County Executive Gordon, Councilman Cartier, Council President Bullock, and Friends of Claymont Library Chairman Jeff Graf. Diana Brown, of the New Castle County Department of Community Services, will facilitate the program.
Among the other dignitaries expected to attend are State Treasurer Chip Flowers, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Geisenberger, State Senators Harris McDowell, Cathy Cloutier and Greg Lavelle, State Representatives Bryon Short, Dennis Williams and Debra Heffernan, State Librarian Annie Norman, New Castle County Chief Administrative Office David Grimaldi, Deputy CAO Jim McDonald, Community Services General Manager Alan Matas, Acting Special Services GM J. Wayne Merritt, Policy Director Marcus Henry (former Community Services GM), Chief Human Resources Officer Lynn Beaty, Councilman George Smiley, and Register of Wills Ciro Poppiti.
Delaware's senior U.S. Senator Tom Carper and junior U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, former County Executive, both plan to attend as well. Former County Executive Paul Clark cannot attend due to a conflict.
The $11.1 million project was designed by Morris & Richie Associates, Inc. Bancroft Construction Company provided construction management. The new library features:
• 30 Internet/public access computers with software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access
• Wireless Access throughout the building
• Meeting and study rooms for public use
• Drive up public service window
• Separate children’s and teen areas
The library is expected to have over 180,000 patron visits and circulate over 200,000 library materials per year.
In addition to touring the building during the opening, the public can borrow materials, obtain library cards, access the Internet, and enjoy special activities for children – including visits by Silly Joe, Ariel the Mermaid, the Jitterbugs, Meet a Minion, Illstyle and Peace, the Juggling Hoffmans and PAWS.
The library is located just off Darley Road, at 400 Lenape Way, Claymont, DE 19703. It is situated in a park- like setting, with dedicated parking in front of the library and walking trails behind it. The facility replaces the library formerly located in the Claymont Community Center.