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Appleton celebrates long-awaited library groundbreaking

Appleton library groundbreaking
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-28 14:47:33-04

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Residents of Appleton gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the long-awaited new Appleton Library. For Library Director Colleen Rortvedt, this marks a great day.

“It’s a day that we get to come together on a site that we haven’t been together on in a really long time,” said Rortvedt.

This project has been in the making for over 14 years, with many setbacks along the way. Mayor Woodford expressed gratitude to the community for their unwavering support throughout the years.

"To every member of the community, I’m so grateful for the engagement and participation over the years," said Mayor Woodford.

The groundbreaking ceremony was filled with excitement, as many eagerly await the completion of the new library, which is expected to be fully constructed by 2025.

Common Council President Katie Van Zeeland and her son were among the attendees. Van Zeeland spoke passionately about the impact the new library will have on her son's life.

"My son is autistic, so life for him isn't typical. He comes to the library because he is an only child and can play and interact with other kids here," said Van Zeeland. "I'm just really excited to walk in with my son and show him what we were able to accomplish."

The new Appleton Library promises to be much more than just a place to house books. City leaders envision it as a space for meeting, learning, and growth, catering to the diverse needs of the entire community.

The event also welcomed a special guest, Microsoft President Brad Smith, who is from Appleton.

"Technology is always changing, but libraries are timeless," said Smith.

Smith returned to his hometown to celebrate this sign of growth, and to donate $3 million to the project.