After decades of dealing with a teensy library stuffed inside a multi-use building, Middletown on Friday celebrated the opening of Appoquinimink Library, a new 28,000 square foot library and digital center.
A small crowd gathered to watch officials cut the ribbon at 651 North Broad St.
County Executive Matt Meyer called it a tremendous day for residents in south New Castle County, specifically the Middletown, Odessa and Townsend communities.
The building’s design bridges the 18th-Century residential scale of Middletown’s historic downtown in the city’s west end and the larger commercial scale developments in the east.
“From selecting the location to the design, it’s been a true team and neighborhood effort,” Meyer said, “and I couldn’t be prouder. I am excited for the community to start using these amenities as soon as possible.
What’s inside the Library
The new Appoquinimink Library will offer more than checking out books or checking Uncle Google on library computers.
It also includes:
- A maker space containing state-of the-art laser cutters, 3D printers and computerized vinyl cutters alongside traditional tools for making and creating.
- A recording studio where residents can capture sound and video content for editing in the library’s media lab.
- A spark wall where children can explore the different content tucked into colorful drawers and cubbies of the installation.
- A multi-purpose room, seating up to 115 people, to be used by the community for work and projects, and will offer extended hours.
Diana Brown, community services manager of New Castle County libraries, said how excited she was for the impact that Appoquinimink Library will have on the Middletown community.
“There is truly something for everyone here,” she said. “Our library staff, especially our library manager, Kevin Swed, have worked hard to bring this building to the community and they are eager to share all the library has to offer to our southern New Castle County friends.”
Library goes green
A focus of the new space was to incorporate green energy and environmentally sustainable features.
The green energy features include:
- High efficiency LED lighting
- Under-floor air distribution system
- Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels to convert sunlight to energy
- PV powered site lighting
- Managed daylight harvesting through sculpted roof monitors and clerestory windows
- Low-flow plumbing fixtures
- Locally sourced, low-volatile organic compound interior finishes, which are less harmful to humans and the environment
- Native species landscape design requiring no irrigation
- 4 electric vehicle charging stations
Jarek Rutz can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz and on LinkedIn.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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