Friday, July 6, 2012

Middletown library project halfway toward completion

That the Middletown Senior Center/Library project is near its halfway point toward completion is welcome news to this library volunteer.

Lake County Record-Bee staff reporter Denise Rockenstein reports in today’s newspaper that the project is approaching 50-percent completion. She cites Eric Seely, deputy county administrative officer.

I often walk past the construction site of the dual-use facility, which is located at 21256 Washington St. Each time, as I approach the site, I look for a bright-yellow crocheted tag that announces a “New Library.” I am happy that the site’s caretakers have allowed it to remain in place.

From the existing library, I have a clear view of the new Middletown Square Park.

According to Rockenstein’s article, the park is being developed by the Lake County Public Works Department in cooperation with a volunteer park committee.

As stated in the article:
“Seely said the building is expected to be completed this winter and the park is expected to be completed next spring.
“‘The western side of the park was completed in time for Middletown Days in June,’ Seely said. ‘The park and building will provide the community with an attractive gathering place in the center of Middletown.’
“The dual-use facility comprises a total of 12,377 square feet, including 4,400 square feet of senior center space, 5,450 square feet of public library space and 2,527 square feet of common area. Plumbing, electrical, heating and duct work is completed.”
The article states that the cost to construct the building is approximately $3,700,000 and the cost for the park is about $140,000. It cites Seely stating that the bulk of funding comes from the Lake County general fund.
“Additional funding for the building includes a $545,000 Community Development Block Grant; $40,000 in Indian Gaming Mitigation funds; and $50,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities Program.”
To this list, add proceeds from the recent Friends of the Gibson Library (FMGL) sale. During Middletown Days I was at the library to shelve but found time to fill a bag with books.

A letter from David Petri, president of FMGL, states that the sale during Middletown Days raised $877.50. “[T]he money will be used for learning materials for the new library, currently under construction.”

According to Rockenstein’s article, additional park funding came from public donations. I’ve seen notices at Hardester’s Market in Middletown inviting shoppers to donate their change for the park. In the article, Seely credits Supervisor Jim Comstock for donating park topsoil.

Read Rockenstein’s article online at

Published July 10, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

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