2017-03-19 / Front Page

Library director pitches building plans at chamber event

BY ALEX PETRIE
810-452-2657 • apetrie@mihomepaper.com


Melissa Malcolm, director of Lapeer District Library, addressed the crowd at Wake Up Lapeer and displayed the architectural plans for a new library, which will be located at the southwest corner of Davison and DeMille roads in Lapeer. The new facility is proposed to be 35,000 square feet on the main floor and 15,000 square feet on the lower level. 
Photo by Alex Petrie Melissa Malcolm, director of Lapeer District Library, addressed the crowd at Wake Up Lapeer and displayed the architectural plans for a new library, which will be located at the southwest corner of Davison and DeMille roads in Lapeer. The new facility is proposed to be 35,000 square feet on the main floor and 15,000 square feet on the lower level. Photo by Alex Petrie LAPEER — If all goes well, Lapeer may be celebrating the construction of a new library in the not-too-distant future. The new facility, which would be built at the corner of Davison and DeMille roads, would bring the city’s library facilities into the 21st century and would help to accommodate our burgeoning population.

On Thursday morning, Melissa Malcolm, the director of Lapeer District Library, addressed the audience at Wake Up Lapeer, a monthly event hosted by the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce, offering a presentation regarding the proposed library building. Malcolm displayed the architectural plan for the new facility, which outlines a 35,000-squarefoot main floor and a 15,000-square-foot basement for storage and mechanical equipment.

The library building, a Georgian Revival style designed by the prominent Detroit firm of Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls, opened in 1923.The library building, a Georgian Revival style designed by the prominent Detroit firm of Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls, opened in 1923.The current library, Marguerite deAngeli, is about 25 percent smaller than libraries serving similar populations, said Malcolm, adding that the current technology at deAngeli is also lacking.

“As charming as deAngeli is, and as much technology as we try to fit into it, our current library is certainly not a state-of-the-art facility,” she said.

The blueprint for the new facility, designed by C2AE, an architectural firm based in Lansing and Grand Rapids, included sections for adults, teens and children, along with study rooms, meeting rooms, a business incubator, offices and workspaces and a space for a small café.

A fundraising campaign will soon begin to raise money for the facility, expected to cost $12.5 million, before the August 2018 election where district residents will likely be asked to approve a millage for the library.

“Lapeer has an active community center, good schools, parks, churches, super restaurants and a charming old library that just doesn’t work anymore,” said Malcolm. “With a new library at the center of our educational corridor, one more fabulous community asset will be added to the city and the county as a whole.”

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