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 A 7.5-acre plot of land on Broughton Road, south of 25 Mile Road, will be the future site of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch. It is expected to open in 2020.

A 7.5-acre plot of land on Broughton Road, south of 25 Mile Road, will be the future site of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch. It is expected to open in 2020.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Covenant deed executed, parcel of land transferred to CMPL

Plan for groundbreaking in the spring

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published December 21, 2018

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton-Macomb Public Library intends to construct a new library building set to open in 2020 in Macomb Township.

Under conditions of the covenant deed, which was executed this month, Macomb Township would transfer to the library a 7.5-acre parcel of land adjacent to and across from the existing facilities at 54100 Broughton Road in Macomb Township.

At the Nov. 14 Board of Trustees meeting, the property transfer was discussed.

Township Attorney Tom Esordi at that time said, “Some time ago the board approved transfer of an appropriate amount of property so the library could build a library across the street by the Town Hall Center. There have been multiple meetings to review designs and what is appropriate.”

A motion carried to authorize Supervisor Janet Dunn to execute the escrow agreement and for Dunn and Clerk Kristi Pozzi to execute a covenant deed for CMPL property transfer.

“If it ever ceases to be a library, the property will return to Macomb Township,” Esordi said.

At its October meeting, the CMPL Board of Trustees reviewed a form of the escrow agreement to be executed in connection with the transfer of land and determined that the terms and conditions of the agreement are satisfactory and acceptable for the library’s purposes.

“We’ve submitted documents to the township for the site plan approval,” CMPL Director Larry Neal said. “Different departments need to sign off on that.”

Neal expects the site plan to be approved as soon as possible.

“Because it’s in the Town Center, they want to make sure it conforms to the goals of the center, which is the heart of the new downtown area,” he said. “Once the site plan is approved, the deed can be formally transferred to the library.”

For the design of the new library, architects looked at the recreation center and Town Hall, hoping to propose architecture that would be in harmony with those buildings, creating a cohesive feel.

“We’re looking at a very traditional front to it,” Neal said. “It will be a brick building. We’re trying to do a 21st century interpretation of a Carnegie Library, which were standard fixtures around the turn of the last century.”   

The new library will feature a drive-up window where customers can return items, similar to what is in place at the Main Branch, at 40900 Romeo Plank in Clinton Township.

“We have some great views of the back of the McBride Drain, which the county has been working on to restore habitat,” Neal said. “We want people to be able to see in and view activity in the library as time evolves and it becomes a downtown area.”

Neal anticipates groundbreaking in the spring of 2019 and the library to be complete in 2020.

“The township envisioned having additional municipal buildings in the Town Center when they started adding buildings almost 20 years ago,’ he said. “Our library system was brand new and that would’ve been a larger commitment to make at that time, which is how we ended up on 24 Mile Road.”

In 2014, voters approved a millage to restore funding to the library.

“The library board’s promise to the community was that we would review the services at all locations and make sure we meet service standards,” Neal said. “We looked at renovating the building on 24 Mile Road, which was designed to be a medical building. We felt it was a better decision to build it from the ground up.”

Just as Clinton Township did with land where the Main Branch is now, Macomb Township has made a commitment to donate land.

“It really helped with the decision,” Neal said. “We were leasing our South Branch at 15 and Gratiot and couldn’t come to an agreement with the owner of that property.”

The South Branch is under 20,000 square feet.

“We feel this brings the northern part of our service area on par with our other two buildings,” Neal said.

The North Branch near 24 Mile and Romeo Plank will close once the new library opens.

Neal’s vision for the future library is for there to be a balance between different noise levels.   

“It’s not just you’re going to a library and locking yourself in,” he said. “We’re looking at having different levels of activity so you can go to a quiet corner and study. Libraries are louder today and we accept that. We want the balance of quiet and loud. I think it’s going to be an amazing building.”

The proposed building will be just over 28,000 square feet, twice the size of the current North Branch.