Delmar Library still hoping for renovation

Delmar Public Library is working hard to raise money to get the renovation and construction underway for what will be a completely remodeled library. That’s why Sunday they hosted a beef and dumpling fundraiser at the Delmar Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.

“It’s been a struggle, but we’re hoping we can get some new energy and move forward,” said Jessica Webb, acting assistant director for the library.

The plan to remodel the existing structure and add additional space began in 2006 when a Space Needs Assessment found the existing building to be inadequate to serve Delmar’s population.

“In the summertime in our meeting room, at the current space we have, it only holds 50 people, and for summer reading programs we can have up to 100 people in the room ,and it just doesn’t fit, and it’s very tight in there,” Webb said.

The library moved to a temporary location off of Sussex County Highway before construction was planned to begin. However, because of unforeseen construction costs, Webb said the project had to be pushed back from its 2015 start date.

Now, almost a year and half later after moving in, the library is still stuck in their temporary location. Beverly Hill, president of the board of directors said the location is not ideal, because it is much smaller than the old library, and out of walking distance from the community. Also because of its small size, Hill tell 47 ABC that over 75 percent of the library’s books have been forced into storage.

Hill said the plan is to begin the project this year, and that the library already has most of the funding to do so.

According to Hill, the library already has a little over $2 million in state funding set aside, and already has $3.5 million from a non-profit organization called NCALL out of Georgetown, Del. for gap funding.

Hill said the library needs to fundraise an additional $1.5 million before construction is finished to pay back NCALL.

Hill said that they are also awaiting confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture for $2 million dollar post-construction grant. Once that grant is confirmed, Hill said they can begin putting the project out for bids.

“We’re very committed to getting this project done, we’ll be holding other fundraisers throughout 2016, and hopefully we’ll be breaking ground at some point this year,” Hill said.

If you’d like to make tax-deductible donation to the project, you can do so by heading to their website, mailing a check to Delmar Public Library at 101 N Bi-State Blvd. Delmar, DE 19940, or by going to the library during normal business hours.  

Categories: Delaware, Local News