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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Top Story of the Year: Land agreement signed for new Smyrna library

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  • WHY WE'VE REPORTED IT While confusion was surrounded around the future of the Smyrna Public Library in 2011, that outlook was much clearer in 2012.
    The Friends of the Duck Creek Regional Library continued the process of getting a new library early in 2012 and signed a land agreement in March for a piece of land in downtown. The property, which sits on East Commerce Street and South East Street, is currently owned by Joe Renzi of BCP Autos.
    The group's president at the time, Jen Merrill, said the agreement answered the community's desire to keep the library downtown and would also be an economic driver.
    Since then, the group has been busy doing several other things including an updated needs assessment. They also hope to have the results of a study on operational logistics done by the University of Delaware in January.
    WHY IT MATTERS The current library is 2,500 square feet and is seen as too small to properly fulfill the needs of the community. The Friends of the Duck Creek Regional Library recently provided an update to Smyrna Town Council where the group's president, Tim Sparrow, and treasurer, Dana Wattay, pointed to the library's lack of space and the continued population growth in the area as the main reasons why a newer, bigger library is needed.
    WHAT'S NEXT The group hopes to complete the purchase agreement for the property next year, but more money is needed to purchase the land, which will cost $650,000. The group will then hire a professional contractor, continue their public outreach and capital campaign, and hopes to continue working closely with the town on the project.
    "The input is invaluable," Sparrow said. "We want the communication to be open."
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