Cass District Library breaks ground on new Edwardsburg Branch location

Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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EDWARDSBURG — The Cass District Library’s dreams of a new facility were officially celebrated Wednesday with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Edwardsburg Branch Library.

Community members gathered at the current Edwardsburg Branch Library, 2675 Church St., for the ceremony. Because the construction site was not safe, dirt from the construction site was brought to the current library for the ceremony. Officials hope the project will be completed this summer.

“Public libraries are so vital to all rural communities,” said CDL Director Barbara Gordon. “They foster a place for community, connection and collaboration. We are open to all and they work to create enriched experiences through access to books and access to one another. We are thrilled for this once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine library services in Edwardsburg and at Cass County to bring a better quality of life to all.”

The new, 9,500 square foot facility – approximately three times the size of the current building – will sit on 5.48 acres allocated on US 12, immediately east of Section Street, in the Village of Edwardsburg. The wooded setting will be the home of the new Edwardsburg Branch Library. Abonmarche was awarded the building project.

“We are thrilled to help bring a new chapter of the Edwardsburg Branch Library to life for all members of this vibrant community,” said Arvin Delacruz, Architect at Abonmarche. “The modern library experience has so many opportunities to prompt connection, learning, and community activism – and our team is excited to design those opportunities into a built environment that works for the community members of Edwardsburg and throughout the region.”

The dream for a new Edwardsburg Branch began after the completion of a Facilities Master Plan in 2021 and was brought to fruition through a successful Headlee Override millage vote in the August 2022 election. 

This new location will allow the Edwardsburg Branch to comfortably accommodate a growing patron base through expanded areas for interactive play, learning, studying and creating. Print collections will be expanded, technology brought up to date and a much-desired meeting room will be constructed for community use. 

The new will have features that have been designed with the community in mind, including:

  • ADA accessibility standards
  • Ample parking
  • Café/lounge area
  • Children’s area
  • Makerspace
  • Private meeting rooms
  • Drive-up drop box Family bathroom
  • Teen area
  • Walking paths

Another major improvement will be a dedicated space for young adults. Cass District Library is actively embracing the changing role of public libraries in creating safe and welcoming spaces for  communities to find inspiration through learning and connecting. The physical space of the modern public library is one of its greatest assets and the investment in Edwardsburg will better position the Library to meet community needs. 

“I think what you are investing in this building matters,” said State of Michigan Librarian Randy Riley, who was on hand for the ceremony. What you’re doing in this time where libraries have been politicized in many communities, to actually be making this statement that libraries matter in our communities and having vibrant libraries is something that’s really crucial. It is an important statement that you’re making, so I commend all of you for making those decisions.”