library design unveiled
Claymont will get
a new public library described as elegant
but not extravagant.
Marcus Henry, general manager of the
county Department of Community Services,
said the facility is expected to open
in the spring of 2013.
He told a County Council committee that
the final cost has not been determined, but
that it should come in less than the $9.5
million authorization. That amount, which
includes equipping the library, will be
of county and state capital appropriations
and donations from the community and other
private sources. Construction cost, he
added, will be in the range of $6.5 million
to $7 million.
The 17,500 square foot library will
replace the 7,000 square foot library now
located in the Claymont Community Center
It will be in the
the northern end of the Village Common in
Darley Green. The Common will be a
parkway-style extension of Green Street.
Until that section of Darley Green is built,
the only vehicular access will be via Lenape
Way, off Darley Road.
Following the presentation of conceptual
plans at the committee meeting on Oct. 25,
Council at its plenary session voted
unanimously to authorize County Executive
Paul Clark to complete arrangements and
accept the donation of 7.6 acres by
the Commonwealth Group subsidiary now
building Darley Green.
Presenting the plan to the
Council committee, Gary Getz, of Morris & Ritchie Associates, a
planning, architecture and engineering firm, said the new
building will be atop a rise to be constructed in the oval. The
main entrance will face the Common, but the building will be
visible from Darley Road.
The most significant feature will
be a clock tower, also facing the Common. There will be a porch
along the eastern wall providing space for patrons to read
out-of-doors when the weather is appropriate.
Inside the building will be a
large common area flanked by separate sections to house the
collection of books and other material, reference and computer
terminal areas, and rooms to accommodate children and teenaged
Getz said material to be used
will be "rather common for a public building that will last for
a long time." But, he added, "We tried to pick up on elegant,
but not go wild on materials."
If has not
yet been decided if, or how, the library
will be connected to Woods Haven-Kruse Park,
located on the opposite side of Darley Road.
the plan includes four drainage control
areas, Councilman Jea Street cautioned that
they "will be a tragedy waiting to happen"
if they are not protected by a fence or
other barrier. He was told that the ponds
are designed to be dry most of the time and
hold, at most, two feet of water after a