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New Middletown library part of county effort to increase services south of canal

Delaware Public Media

New Castle County residents south of the C&D canal are getting a new library.

County officials announced Monday plans to build a new library in Middletown to serve what they call the county’s fastest-growing region.

The Southern Library is expected to be more than twice the size of the current Appoquinimink library, which leases space in an office building in Middletown.

County Executive Matt Meyer says the Appoquinimink library is small—but heavily used.

“Overwhelmingly people came forward and said don’t move it far from its current site,” said Meyer. “It’s a neighborhood where a lot of people don’t have wifi in their homes and … don’t own a lot of books. And this is their library.“

Community Services General Manager Marcus Henry says the new library will be on par with others recently built in the county.

“It’s going to be about the same size, a little smaller than Brandywine [Hundred Library]. About 25,000 square feet,” said Henry.

The location that has been chosen is the Promenade property on Route 299 in Middletown. Henry says the eight-acre property has enough land for the library to expand in the future if needed.

County Executive Matt Meyer says the new library is part of a three-pronged effort to increase services to residents south of the C&D canal.

“A new paramedic facility to provide higher quality paramedic service south of the canal, the second is a library ... and the third is park land, and our search for park land continues.”

Officials say the new library will have media rooms, meeting spaces and programming including job trainings.

The county is working to hire an architect, secure final funding and gather public input for the library’s design.

Officials expect construction to begin in 2019 and the library to open in 2021.

The project will likely cost $24 million— and be paid for by a combination of county, state and private funds.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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