The brand new $31 million dollar Route 9 Library and Innovation Center opened its doors Tuesday morning.
Over 300 community members turned out Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening of the multi-purpose facility, including a group of kids like 8 year-old Zy-Rin Smack.
“So far it looks really nice," Smack said.
Smack is part of the Young Leaders Institute. In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware, the group of 8 to 15 year-olds will participate in new programming at the Route 9 Library twice a month.
New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer says the library is also strategically situated along the route 9 corridor in New Castle because many residents nearby are struggling or unemployed. It's also the first new library for New Castle County since the 1970s.
“Let’s keep in mind that this is just a canvas for us," Meyer said. "It’s our job now – going forward – to figure out how we fill that canvas.”
Justin Clifton lives in nearby Garfield Park.
“A lot of people here…they’re just down in the dumps," Clifton said. "They feel that no one is here for them. This library is going to do wonders for our community.”
Job training, such as a "Re-Wire To Be Re-Hired" program for those who’ve been out of work for a while, are among the resources that will be offered at the new facility.
And 10 organizations so far have signed on to use the space for community engagement efforts.
The facility currently has a total of 40 staff members.