Ad Spot

Dowagiac District Library expansion continues following COVID-19 delay

DOWAGIAC — Construction on the Dowagiac District Library’s coronavirus-stalled $7.4 million expansion-renovation projects marches on.

After breaking ground on the site in October 2019, construction was halted in March due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order shutting down construction. The project continued after Whitmer lifted the shutdown order on May 7. Since then, Library Director Matt Weston said construction has continued at a steady pace.

So far, the building’s walls have been placed, along with flooring, plumbing and some of the inside walls. The main entrance will be relocated to the expanded wing, facing Main Street. The new entrance will lead to the first floor, which will feature an expanded main public space, an adult nonfiction area, a quiet reading room, and a meeting room.

Weston expects the expansion to be completed in October.

“It was originally supposed to be completed in August, so we’re a couple of months behind,” he said. “They have made up for a week’s worth of work, so if things go well we could be opening the expanded portion in early October.”

Once construction on the expansion is complete, library operations will move to the expanded wing while the original portion of the library is renovated. The original front entrance will be made into a secondary entrance that will lead to the second floor, which will house both the children and teen sections.

A performance stage will be also built on the property at the intersection Main and New York streets, which will be used for both city and library programs. Weston is hopeful that the renovations to the original building will be completed in late February 2021.

“Visitors can expect expanded book collections and more computers,” Weston said. “Both the teen and children areas will have separate computer stations. There will be more space for community activities as well. It’s been pretty exciting picking out the furniture and technology.”

The expansion and renovation is a result of a $7.4 million bond over 20 years that was passed in November 2018 to renovate and expand the library. With the last update to the library’s structure completed in 1973, Weston hopes that the new-and-improved library will meet the demands of the community.

“I hope to see more and more people come to use our services,” he said. “We want this to be a convenient place to visit when you come into town,  a place with a lot of items of interest and programs people will inquire about. People utilize the library for different reasons, and we want to be able to meet those needs.”

Dowagiac

Dowagiac family creates hand-crocheted hand sanitizer holders

Buchanan

Buchanan Community Schools welcomes new superintendent amidst reopening plans

Cass County

CFCN celebrates National Health Center Week

Dowagiac

Dowagiac resident installs Little Free Library on Big Twin Lake

Education

Niles Community School board approves return to school plan

Edwardsburg

Starboard Choice Marine donates boat to Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg PD

Business

Medical cannabis dispensary continues renovations of old Billiard Garden

Business

Marion Magnolia Farms opens in Cassopolis

Cassopolis

Cassopolis Public Schools prepare for back-to-school

Education

Niles nonprofit makerspace recipient of AEP grant to fund offering

Cass County

Cass County Fair Swine Show results

Cass County

Cass County Fair Sheep Show results

Cass County

Cass County Fair Horse Show results

Education

Edwardsburg Public Schools plan for in person instruction

Dowagiac

Sanitary sewer overflow

Education

First Backpacks for Good event serves more than 600 students

News

Indeck Niles Energy Center construction continues on schedule

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union Schools families asked to choose back-to-school option

Cass County

Cass County Fair 2020 goat show results

Cass County

Cass County Fair 2020 dog show results

Cass County

Cass County Fair 4-H 2020 Dairy Show Results

Berrien County

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign begins Friday

Buchanan

Boy Scouts continue service, merits despite COVID-19 challenges

Cass County

Cass County Fair 2020 dairy feeder steer results