Saline District Library Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony to Commence Renovations


The Saline District Library held an official ground-breaking ceremony on June 4 to kick off their upcoming renovations. Community members, including Mayor Brian Marl, Council member Jack Ceo, Saline Area Schools Superintendent Stephen Laatsch, Saline School Board President Michael McVey, Saline Police Chief Marlene Radzik and Deputy Police Chief Andrew Hartwig were on hand to witness the historic event.

Saline District Board President Lori Byron kicked off the event by telling attendees what the library has meant to her in the past, and her hopes for the library in the future.

“I’m so excited to be gathered here today with all of you to kick off and celebrate the most visible element of the Saline District Library Strategic Plan to optimize spaces,” Byron said. “With this new pavilion and internal renovations, the library will continue to serve the people of Saline and expand its role as a community gathering place where we can all discover, connect and grow.”

Mayor Brian Marl reflected on the library’s history during his tenure, and is looking forward to the completed project and what it will offer to the residents.

“The library is a very valued asset in our community. Salinians are very proud of our library,” Marl said. “When people come to the community and visit and experience the library, they say ‘You have a real gem.’”

“We’re looking forward to being back here for the ribbon cutting when the new facility is inaugurated,” he added.

Karrie Waarala, director of Saline District Library, spoke highly of the architects at Quinn Evans who came up with the vision, and the construction company, McCarthy and Smith, who will oversee the build.

“I want to thank Quinn Evans. From the very beginning, they have had such beautiful, holistic ideas. They were the architect firm that truly looked at all of this land that we are on. They said ‘You have a beautiful building, you have beautiful land, but they don’t talk to each other.’ That was the thing that really made us love their designs.”

“McCarthy and Smith, our construction managers, have been wonderful to work with,” Waarala said. “ Every step of the way, they never get tired of my questions."

Waarala also thanked the staff and many committee members who helped bring about this new expansion, including library board members and Friends of the Saline Library.

“We have just recently announced that we now are reciprocal borrowers with the library network, which means that your Saline District Library card works at libraries all over southeast Michigan, which is going to be kind of helpful while we are under construction for the next few months.”

Construction of the outdoor pavilion will begin soon, with hopes for completion by the end of September. Indoor renovations are expected to be completed by the end of December.

“We are going to do so many outdoor programs in the pavilion,” Waarala said. “ We really realized when we came back from the pandemic, we leaned into our outdoor programming. It’s not accessible with our current layout. If you’ve got strollers or wheelchairs or walkers, getting out on the grass is just impossible. The fact that we’re going to have this paved plaza that goes right up to the pavilion is going to make all of our programming accessible for everybody. I’m so excited about that.”

Finally, Waarala wanted to thank the citizens of Saline who shared in the vision for the library’s expansion.

“I want to thank every single member of our community. We get so much support for our library. I get so many thank you’s, so many compliments on our great staff, on our great services and programs. The fact that this community supports this strategic plan and supports moving forward with a project like this and is so excited about it. We love all of you just as much as you love your library, so thank you very much to all of you.”

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