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 Photo by Erin Sanchez Shelby Township officials begin demolition of the old Parks, Recreation and Maintenance facility Dec. 18 to make way for a new $11.2 million Shelby Township Library on the municipal campus.

Photo by Erin Sanchez Shelby Township officials begin demolition of the old Parks, Recreation and Maintenance facility Dec. 18 to make way for a new $11.2 million Shelby Township Library on the municipal campus.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


‘Building breaking’ starts new Shelby Township Library’s construction

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 20, 2019

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A brand new library is officially on its way to Shelby Township with a target date to open in the spring of 2021.

The township held a “building breaking” — instead of a groundbreaking — with the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the municipal campus Dec. 18 at the old Parks, Recreation and Maintenance facility, which will make way for the new Shelby Township Library location. The campus is at 52700 Van Dyke Ave.

Shelby Township Library Director Katie Ester, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees and the Shelby Township Library Advisory Board gathered for the ceremony and to talk about the plans for the new building.

“We are really proud of the way this has gone, and I want to thank everybody who’s got a part in this including Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick,” Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said at the ceremony.

Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick is the township’s new engineering firm, which it hired in September.

Township officials began minor demolition during the “building breaking.” The new library that will be constructed is budgeted to cost $11.2 million. Stathakis said it will not go a penny over $11.2 million, and it is being built with no bonding or borrowing — all paid in cash.

The library will be Shelby Township’s first stand-alone library.

Township Trustee Lynn Wilhelm said it will be a great addition to Shelby Township.

“This is going to be a tremendous addition to our community,” Wilhelm said in a prepared statement. “We are adding a state-of-the-art centerpiece for arts, culture and community with a new library. We’re also going to be beautifying our amazing campus quite a bit too. No offense to the old maintenance garage, but our new library will be much more pleasing to the eye.”

Wilhelm said she is excited for the new library.

“It has been a long time coming. We did a lot of planning. This is going to be a true gem and a community amenity that everyone is going to enjoy, so I’m really glad that we are getting this done,” Wilhelm said at the ceremony.

The new library will have an increase in square footage from the current facility, which is located at 51680 Van Dyke Ave., from 14,400 square feet to 26,000 square feet.

Ester said the new library will be a big change from the old building.

“It will feature a dedicated teen room that we’ve never had before, and an expanded children’s area with a magic book, and I’m not saying anything more; you will see it when it opens. We will have a technology lab, and we will have a community meeting room that will be the largest on campus. I invite you all to come use the library, and I’m sure I’ll see lots of you there for community meetings or otherwise, but this is a huge gift from our board and our residents to use in Shelby township for generations to come,” Ester said at the ceremony.

Ester said the planning process has been simple, as the team hired to build the building has been easy to work with.

“The process of planning the new Shelby Township Library has been joyful work,” she said in a prepared statement. “We have an outstanding team of architects, engineers and designers that are working with us to plan a library that meets our needs and is a functional yet beautiful space.”

Back on Nov. 20, 2018, the Township Board approved a budget of $11.2 million to build the new library. The board awarded the construction contract for the facility to Bernco Inc., of St. Clair Shores, for $9,160,000 at its Sept. 17 meeting.

The project is anticipating a grand opening date in the spring of 2021.

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