If you have been to the library recently, you have seen the construction fencing, large excavation equipment, holes being dug, utility lines being rerouted, etc. All of us are getting used to finding new routes to the library now that 4th Street is closed as well as new places to park. “Please pardon our dust” has become more than just an expression! Once all of the utilities (storm sewers, water lines, gas, electrical, etc.) have been relocated and foundations have been poured, you will see the structural steel beams going up this fall.
Thank you to all of you who attended our groundbreaking ceremony last Saturday to celebrate the start of library construction. Although the day was rainy and windy, as true Michiganders, we took it in stride. Now the real digging will begin.
The library will hold two construction question and answer sessions on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at Noon and at 6:30 pm.
Representatives from O’Neal Construction Inc. and Daniels & Zermack Architects will be on hand to answer your questions regarding the timeline and construction logistics for the new library building project.
The anticipated start date for construction will be May 14, 2018. Click here for the site logistics map which shows the construction zone, library parking, etc.
- 4th Street will be closed in early May 2018 until approximately June 2019.
- The alley adjacent to the existing library (between 3rd and 4th Streets) will remain open.
- The construction zone will be fenced off from May 10 2018 until May 2019.
- The primary flow of construction traffic will be on 4th Street in order to keep construction traffic on Charles St. to a minimum.
- Sidewalks along the northern half of 4th will remain open.
- Primary parking for the existing library and construction worker parking will occur east of the existing library (on the site of the old H & B Accounting property).
The first phase of the construction will be excavation of the site (public parking lot and 4th street), grading, and rerouting of underground utilities. The building construction will begin sometime this summer.
We are also negotiating a lease for the use of Sumpter Township’s “hexagon building” for a library media center which will offer free Internet, Wi-Fi, and computer classes. This building is across the street from the Sumpter Township Hall. We anticipate opening up this branch by the end of this year, after renovations are complete.
Mary Jo Suchy
The City of Belleville Planning Commission’s Sept. 14th unanimous vote for site plan approval for the new Belleville Area District Library (BADL) building is deeply appreciated by the entire library community. On behalf of the BADL, I continue to shout HOORAY! This is not only a big step for the new library process, but also an important expression of partnership within the library district.
The BADL Board, along with our design team of Daniels and Zermack Architects, O’Neal Construction and the Beckett and Raeder engineering firm, continually provides careful consideration of every detail of our overall plan. That said, the detailed review completed by our partners at the city’s Planning Commission is extremely helpful. The leadership demonstrated by the Commission’s Chair, Steve Jones, and observations contributed by Commission members resulted in useful input to the plan as it currently stands, as well as to the details that remain to be worked out. The library looks forward to continuing this working partnership with the city on subsequent engineering and permitting reviews and approvals, as the new library design and construction process continues to develop. In the spirit of partnership, the heartfelt joy expressed by Belleville City Manager Diana Kollmeyer over the Commission’s approval action, was very gratifying, indeed.
Equally important to collaboration with the City of Belleville, is the District Library’s partnership with the entire tri-community we serve. We celebrate our relationship with Sumpter, where plans for the media center satellite are progressing between the library and township officials. Similarly, Van Buren Township officials continue to express full cooperation, and are exploring ways to utilize their cable TV resources in order to help inform the wider public about new library developments well before groundbreaking takes place next spring.
We are overjoyed to have completed the site plan approval process, with each important step moving us closer to making our tri-community vision a reality for all to enjoy!
Sharon Claytor Peters
Chair, Belleville Area District Library Board
“So, when is groundbreaking?”
The two months since our last building update has consisted mostly of meetings, meetings, and more meetings: meetings with the architect, meetings with the Building Committee, meetings with utility companies, and meetings with library vendors.
We are working on finalizing the floorplan and footprint for the new building. The geotechnical engineers have done soil borings. The environmental engineers have been out to test for lead and asbestos. The project engineers have drawn up plans for the utility relocations (water, sewer, electrical, etc.), and we are in talks with DTE, Comcast, and AT&T for how best to proceed.
“And then construction will begin?”
First, schematic designs must be drawn up, followed by the library going through the site plan approval process with the city planning commission.
“And then, groundbreaking?”
Site preparation, relocation of underground utilities, and the purchase and demolition of the H&B building will need to happen before construction can begin on the new building. We hope to begin this process this fall, depending on how long the site plan approval process takes. Some of this cannot happen during the winter months, so if we do not begin in the fall, we will begin in the spring of 2018.
“So, when is the groundbreaking ceremony? When does ceremonial shovel go into the dirt?”
Yes! Please, bear with us in the meantime, and stay tuned for more updates.
Also, if you would like to learn more about the library’s developing plans, proposed utility relocations, and timeline, then you are invited to attend an informal town hall on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 6 pm at Belleville First United Methodist Church (417 Charles St.) across the street from the library. (Our library’s program room is in use every day that week, and the Church has been very kind in offering us a place to meet).
Mary Jo Suchy,