National Construction held a socially distant groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, April 14 to mark the start of construction of the Belleville Public Library and Community Center at its new location anchoring Belleville’s historic downtown district.

“We, as a community, have been working toward the goal of a new library for many years. It is exciting to see the vision finally becoming a reality,” said Belleville Library Board President Christine Belle.

The 13,805 square foot library and community center will include a community room, kitchen, training room, large gathering space for preschoolers through teens, quiet area for reading, makerspace, study rooms, and public computers. Meeting and training space will be available for community group and business use. In addition to expanded space, the library will be able to offer additional library classes and programs for all ages. The new building was designed to meet the needs of the community for years to come.

“This project has been headed up by a greatly dedicated group of Belleville residents. I would like to encourage those that were waiting for the groundbreaking and construction to give a donation,” said Village of Belleville President Roger Hillebrand. “That time has arrived.” Additional donations will be used for furnishing the new building. 

The Village of Belleville launched its “It Takes a Village” capital campaign in November 2016. Generous funds raised and a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development loan made the project possible. “We’re so grateful to the many people who helped us reach our goal,” said Belleville Library Director Bronna Lehmann.

“The library has always been a focal point for programs and services within the Belleville community far beyond the books and media which it provides.  With this much awaited upgrade in facilities, the Belleville Public Library and Community Center will be prepared to continue enlightening, educating, and bringing the people of the community together for programming, resources, and group activities for many years into the future,” said Brian Wilson, Village of Belleville Administrator and Community Development Authority representative.  “The Village of Belleville has grown much over the last 20 years, and it is time for its library to grow as well.”

The project is located at 20 S. Park Street on the former Landmark mill site and is scheduled to open in early 2021. Commercial general contractor National Construction recently completed the Village of Belleville Police Station and has constructed several other area libraries.

“We’re honored to once again support the growth of the Belleville community,” said Jeff Grundahl, owner of the firm, which is based in Madison and also employee owned as a division of JG Development.

The library and community center was designed by architectural firm FEH Design.

The library also serves residents from the neighboring townships of Exeter, Brooklyn, New Glarus, Primrose, and Montrose.

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