New library coming to Macomb Township

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 5, 2017

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — During her “State of the Township” address March 31, Supervisor Janet Dunn said that Macomb Township will be getting a new, permanent library.

The library is tentatively scheduled to open in 2020 and will be located in the town center area, just east of the township hall building.

“Something near and dear to my heart over the last 20 years is coming to reality,” Dunn said. “The process is just beginning and everything is in the planning stages.”

The library will be the new north branch of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library system and will be about double the size of the current north branch location on 24 Mile Road. The new branch will measure between 25,000 and 30,000 square feet.

Larry Neal, the director of the CMPL, said that population growth is a key reason for the new library.

“2014 was when our supplemental millage was approved, and as part of that promise to voters, we knew that the north branch was undersized for that part of the community,” Neal said. Our population has grown 72 percent in Macomb Township since that branch opened, and we have outgrown that branch tremendously.”

The north branch opened in 2001, and the township’s population has grown by 36,000 residents in that time.

Neal said there would be no tax increase to build the new library due to the 2014 millage approval, and the new library would be part of the millage’s promise to sustain services and operations to residents.

There was some consideration to expand the 24 Mile Road location, but the building’s design for medical offices would have necessitated a full remodel of several doctor’s offices, and it would have also been short on parking.

“We know that Macomb Township’s vision has been for us to be in the town center, to be a part of that anchor of a walkable community,” Neal said. “The great thing is they’ll have marvelous options, and in terms of the northern part and where all the township growth is occurring, it just makes a lot of sense.”

Neal said the library will feature traditional printed books and study spaces as anchor amenities. There will also be a separate area for children to reduce noise in other areas. Currently, the north branch has 10,000 children visit monthly, and that figure is expected to increase in the new building.

“We’ll always have printed books. That’ll be an important component,” Neal said. “It’s amazing how many people still want printed books and children to be able to touch them and manipulate them.”

Dunn expressed excitement for the new community asset.

“It will be a destination, just like it is at 24 Mile Road,” Dunn said.