Groundbreaking for New Branch Library Monday, December 18 at 4:00 PM

Please join us on Monday, December 18, at 4:00 PM at the site of the new branch at Traverwood and Huron Parkway for a groundbreaking ceremony. This branch will replace the current Northeast Branch located in Plymouth Mall. We anticipate opening the new library in early Summer, 2008. This Library was designed by VanTine|Guthrie Studio in Northville, MI and will be constructed by ONeal Construction of Ann Arbor.

Located .5 mile west of the current library branch, the new 16,000 square foot facility will include a quiet reading room, meeting room, larger children's space with more computers designated for children, a casual study area with vending, computer lab, and is being built sustainably. The success we've enjoyed with the lighting quality and general comfort of Malletts Creek and Pittsfield will be present in this new building. The collection will be larger and will feature traditional and emerging formats.

A unique feature of this northeast area library will be the utilization of ash trees harvested directly from the site. The wood will be used as structural elements, as well as, in the flooring, walls, and in some areas of the ceiling.

We will also enjoy more parking at this location than at either of the other branches. 89 total spaces will be available on the street, under the building, and in an open lot to the south.

Please come and participate in this important milestone in the history of AADL.

Comments

I am looking forward to the new NE library branch. It will be nice to have more space in the new library since the current branch is indeed small. However, I will miss the ritual of going to the library and BASKIN ROBBINS ice cream store in the same trip. We've done that for so many years. I'll miss the short walk from the Bromley subdivision behind Plymouth Mall, but hopefully the new one won't be much further, or difficult for pedestrians. Change is tough, but we'll get used to it, and the new library will be nice to visit. I have to say that I won't miss the strong smell at Plymouth Mall, either.


Will the new library have a drive-thru option for returns? I think it would be a great feature.


I agree about the strong smell and we won't miss it either! The new library is 1/2 mile west of the Plymouth Mall, so it will be a little longer walk for you. I don't think we'll have ice cream, but we will have a vending/cafe area. I'm glad that you are looking forward to the new building. Josie


Daniel,
It is certainly a feature that people ask for, but we couldn't make it work with the site. There is an in-wall drop box on the north side of the building adjacent to reserved, short term parking spaces so that you can park and drop off material. The approach is ramped, and well lit. Josie


I never saw any problem with insufficient parking at the present location; evidently a goal of this new building is to generate more automobile traffic. I'm also bit concerned about the "on the street" parking that is being touted as a feature of this new location: I don't see any on-street parking there now or room for it, but no doubt the planners have something rational in mind. Finally, I walk by this intersection frequently and, in my opinion, even for the limited number of pedestrians who may make the long trek to the new location without benefit of hydrocarbons, it is a accident waiting to happen. This is particularly true because the intersection isn't easily visible to the uphill traffic going south. I hope that the City will put in a light at this intersection.


I think it would be a great idea for the new branch to include a few bike racks for bikers. I often bike to the current branch, but I have always had to tie my bike to a tree. It's not a huge problem, but it would be cool if this new library did have some racks. Especially if the new location is going to be farther away for most people.
-Ray


I'll second the need for bike racks.

I'm happy to hear it "is being built sustainably", and utilizing ash trees from the site. Using tax dollars to lead by example can be an antidote to the omnipresent media promotion of consumption. I'd like to see the Library promote these features through something like diarama presentations of the applicable features, to help educate us.

Bill


Thirded. It would be even better if the bike parking was covered, like Mallett's.


The architectural designs of the new branch libraries are exciting and have greatly added to the overall experience of visiting the library. I'm sure the new NE branch will be in step with the innovation of the Mallet Creek and Pittsfield buildings. However, as noted in at least one comment, the current mall site allows bundling a non-motorized visit to the library with a shopping errand or ice cream treat. I hope the site planners can work with the city to facilitate safe and pleasant walking/bicycling paths/routes to the commercial area on Plymouth road. Mallet Creek branch used to be in a strip mall on Packard with little restaurants, shops, and groceries. Now it is isolated - but very pleasant and inviting! Makes me wonder if library planners are plugged into the non-motorized planning for AA.


I don't know if it would even be workable, but I would love to see a fireplace like they have in some bookstores. It would be great to sit next to it on a cold Michigan day and read a book. Heaven !


Vandenbroek,
My reference to parking was not to the current NEB location, but to the two new branch locations already built. I don't think creating traffic is our goal, but we do recognize that many people living in the northeast area of our district live miles from bus lines and must drive to the library. We are creating on street parking by moving the sidewalk back into the site. I agree with you about the intersection. We have been unsuccessful persuading the City of AA Planning Department that a three-way stop is necessary at that intersection. If you are a City of AA resident, direct communication with your council member may be effective.


All of the bicyclists will be pleased to know that we are placing racks near the front entrance of the library, uncovered, and underneath in the parking garage near the entry stair, covered. A little of both.

As to whether or not the library is plugged into the non-motorized plan, I think we are. We also have to accomodate the thousands of people who live in the library district miles from bus lines or sidewalks and must drive to reach a library. Not all persons are able to ride a bike and we know that, too. We have placed our branches in areas with existing pedestrian and bus routes, with the exception of Pittsfield. We hope to get the AATA back onto Oak Valley Drive and serving the area around the Library in the future, but we are not in control of that decision. We can locate branches on existing bus routes, but there is no guarantee that the routes won't be eliminated/altered sometime in the future.


Messa,
There are fireplaces at Malletts Creek and Pittsfield, and there will be one at the new branch on Traverwood, too!
Josie


Bill,

We appreciate your support of our efforts to build sustainably. Exterior and interior signage, a children's book, and tours are available at Malletts Creek explaining the sustainable features of the branch. We will have something in place at Pittsfield and the new northeast branch, too, but we wait until we have the buildings fully commissioned and operational before we do the signage.
Josie


On thing we can be sure of: the people who drive to the new building will be coming only for that purpose, because nothing else is there (unless they want to take a walk in what's left of the adjacent wooded area). It is true that most people drive to the current mall location, but they can combine several activities in one trip. The library seems wedded to the idea of detached, single-purpose buildings away from any other activities or destinations. I think it would be at least marginally more enlightened to favor ways for people to make one car trip for multiple activities than to favor multiple car trips for single activities. (That said, I'm always in favor of more and better libraries and am grateful to live in a community that offers our public library system so much support.)


Thank you.


I noticed that there will be more computers--please include TWO sets of headphones for each computer (like Mallets). At NE now, each computer only has one set of headphones. Having two headsets allows a parent to check the appropriateness of the what the child is viewing and to interact with the child if they may not understand something. Also other kids can share the game/info.
Thanks!


Just a personal comment about the architectural design of the new NE branch. It's perfectly hideous. If you build another downtown library, please use another architect. I'm not trying to be mean, I just really dislike it and sadly, when more "modern" places are built, they tend to look very out of date as time goes on. Just look at the police department.


Could we perhaps have an update on building progress for the new NEB? I'm so excited at the prospect of a real library in our part of town I can hardly stand it. I pass by the site every so often but it's a little hard to interpret what's going on.


I am glad that you are excited about the new NEB project. So am I! The concrete foundations are being formed and poured right now and all of the underground utilities are being put into place. It won't look much like a building yet for awhile. I suggest that you watch it go up from the perspective of the corner of Huron Parkway and Traverwood Drive. That is approximately where the front door will be located.

Thanks for asking, and this time next year we'll be very close to welcoming you through those front doors.

Josie