size of its library land donation
has significantly upped the ante with regard to the amount of
property it intends to donate to be the site of a branch public
library in the Darley Green development in Claymont.
Instead of giving
slightly more than an acre of land in the commercial section
just off Philadelphia Pike, the developer will give 7.5 acres
fronting on Darley Road at the northwest corner of the mixed-use
community. The stand-alone structure will be built on a
semicircular tract across the road from Woodshaven-Kruse Park.
The switch removes the three main objections to the original
plan -- cramped space, a location well inside the new
community and the need to build a below-ground garage to provide
off-street parking. In a press statement issued on Mar. 24
confirming selection of a Darley Green location, County
Executive Paul Clark called the location more suitable. "It may
have taken a while to come to an agreement ... but it was worth
the wait," he said.
On the approved
development plan the library tract was designated as open space
to include the community's stormwater management area. Marcus
Henry, general manager of the Department of Community Services,
said county government will assume that responsibility, but only
as it applies to the library tract. He would say only that "an
arrangement will be worked out" to manage water runoff from the
rest of the 67-acre community. County Councilman John Cartier,
who represents the area, told the Claymont Design Review
Advisory Council that having settled the question of where to
put the library makes "this a great day for Claymont." He said
that residents must now "come together and focus on" raising the
$750,000 community share of the $9 million project's cost.
The press statement said construction of the 17,000-square-foot
library is intended to begin during the coming summer with its
opening expected in autumn, 2012. It will replace the smaller
facility housed in the Claymont Community Center building.