The library: relocated

By: Megan Rickert / J1 staff


Brew 52 might have another rival coming their way. The Sugar Creek Branch of the Hancock Public Library will be changing its location from being across to McDonald’s, west of Gem road in New Palestine, to being in front of the Wooden Terrace senior citizen homes, nearly a mile west on U.S. 52.

A sign was put up stating “future home of the Sugar Creek Branch,” but no ground has broke yet.

“We’ve had a couple scheduled meetings, the public came in to see what they’d like. Some said coffee bar, a puppy room, and room for more collections of books,” Cathy said.

The staff at the student library have been introduced to ideas and have produced ideas of their own.

The New Palestine community anxiously awaits for any information about the incoming library. More specifically, what it’s going to look like.

“I really hope the decorations from the old library come from the new library, and I hope they’re even better in the new one,” Gina Iacobucci said.

Depending on the budget, the new library might have a plethora of new decorations. Or it might have more space; right now, the library staff are planning for the dimensions and layout.

“It will have the same home town feel, with the help of the bonded community,” Cathy said.  

One of the main reasons the library is relocating, is the fact that the library rents the space they are currently at. So, the move gives the Sugar Creek Branch an opportunity to actually own the space they occupy.

“The location where the new library will sit is a good piece of property. Also, the building that houses the library is a rental,” Cathy said.

This leaves room for any company or companies to rent the present Sugar Creek Branch. The words “Aldi’s” “Chick-fil-a” and “Taco Bell” leave the New Palestine citizens lips with a sense of anticipation, but it’s a grey sky of uncertainty for now.  

“Whoever owns (the current library) will determine what’s going to happen to the space,” Cathy said.

The move brings up some negative attributes. More specifically, the fact that high schoolers from New Palestine High School will no longer be in walking distance of the library.

This could lead to less attraction of high school students who like to study after school at the library.

“New sites and pathways are being looked at for the area. There was no land close to the school, and the site was perfect for a larger parking lot, which was a problem on its own,” Dave Gray said.

The high school students will still be able to study for upcoming finals at the library. Possibly even for the winter finals too.

“Construction could start in the next 12-36 months. We are in the early planning stages, and we  have an architect to plan out the space for the new library,” Gray said.  

Hopefully the new library opening will be as big as the week-long series of events that  marked the grand opening of the Hancock County Public Library. If not, there’s still something that will take place.

“There will be an event to celebrate the opening, so that we can kick off the library with a good start,” Gray said.

The libraries haven’t always been as enormous as the Hancock County Public Library. The first library in New Palestine was a tiny one-room library.

“It started with a small one-room library. Then we moved to the current location, and now the next step is to have a larger facility and to improve,” Gray said.

The little one-room library has transformed into being on a small scale to being magnificent. No matter who you are in New Palestine you’ve either heard the words

‘Sugar Creek Branch Library” or “Hancock County Public Library.”

“I grew up in Hancock county, it’s been an honour to serve the county. It’s the people and the tremendous staff that make New Pal and us great,” Gray said.

*Cathy did not want to disclose her last name*

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