Meyer makes good on long-standing county commitment to increase services in Southern New Castle County
Middletown, DE – County Executive Matthew Meyer, state and county library officials, legislators, municipal leaders and local residents gathered yesterday as New Castle County announced that a new state-of-the-art library will be constructed in downtown Middletown to better serve area residents. For more than 20 years, New Castle County has acknowledged the need for new library investments south of the C&D Canal, and with yesterday’s announcement, the Meyer Administration is fulfilling a years-long commitment to improve library services in the County’s fastest-growing region. The new library will be more than twice the size of the Appoquinimink Library, which has outgrown its temporary home in rented office space in downtown Middletown. It will be designed to better meet community needs, with additional gathering and programming spaces that employ the latest technology to promote literacy, learning and collaboration.
“We have listened to the people and are increasing county service south of the C&D canal, in collaboration with the state and town of Middletown government,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “This library, to be located at the community’s preferred site, will be a community gem and a source of literacy and education for generations to come.”
Click HERE to view the October 29 library announcement event.
After evaluating a number of sites and hearing strong sentiment from current library users that they would like the library to remain in the town of Middletown, where a library has been located since 1901, a portion of the Promenade property at the corner of Route 299 and S. Catherine Street has been selected as the site for the new library. This site meets key selection criteria, including:
- High visibility in central or prominent location
- Ease of accessibility, including multiple points of access for those walking, cycling, driving or taking mass transit
- Proximity to residential areas, schools, and recreational and play areas
- Site size to afford adequate parking and allow for future expansion
- Land characteristics favorable for development
Administration officials have signed a letter of intent to purchase approximately 8 acres of land for the project, and approval from County Council will now be sought to complete the purchase. Next, an architect will be selected through an open bid to begin the process of designing the library. A public meeting will be scheduled for early 2019 to inform that effort by gathering input from residents about interior amenities, programming space and architectural features.
“Libraries are a reflection of community growth and development, and it’s wonderful that this library will soon have a new home to support the continued growth of this thriving community and as well as the future evolution of library services,” said Delaware State Librarian, Dr. Annie Norman. “Thank you to the many officials, Friends of the Library members and other supporters who are working to keep libraries in the forefront as a priority.”
The new Southern New Castle County library will be approximately 25,000 square feet, with sufficient land to expand in response to future demand.
Design, construction and furnishings will be funded through a combination of County, State, and private funds. Library construction costs will be split by the state and county governments, which have each already contributed $5 million in capital funding. The entire project budget is estimated at approximately $24 million.
Groundbreaking will occur as early as 2019, with completion targeted for 2021.
Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462