‘Your Place to Belong’ campaign to transform McCormick Riverfront Library wins Premier Project Award

The Dauphin County Library System’s “Your Place to Belong” campaign focused on expanding the McCormick Riverfront Library with the restoration and linking of an adjacent historic townhome has won a Dauphin County “Premier Project Award’’ from the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

Selected from a record 23 entries competing for five categories, The Library’s campaign won for “Growing Our Economy.” Projects were judged on effectiveness and results; originality and innovation; ease of replication; community involvement and participation; and compatibility with the Dauphin County Comprehensive Plan.

“We are honored to have our campaign recognized for the benefits of integrating the McCormick Riverfront Library with the Haldeman Haley House to Harrisburg and the surrounding community,” said Karen Cullings, The Library’s executive director. “The expansion will allow us to expand children’s programming and a host of other services.”

In 1896, Sara Haldeman Haly donated $60,000 to build a modern library and land adjoining her home – the McCormick Riverfront Library site. The Library had the opportunity to acquire the Haldeman Haley House in 2019, presenting a golden opportunity to expand the popular downtown location.

Assisting The Library in the project are the Alexander Design Group architecture firm and JEM Group construction management.

The Library’s $3.5 million “Your Place to Belong” capital campaign is underway to restore Haldeman Haly House and reconfigure McCormick Riverfront Library. The transformation will create:

• Dedicated children’s area, where kids and families can explore STREAM – Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
• Flexible community meeting and event space in the beautiful Haldeman Haly House.
• Improved ADA access.
• Expanded adults services areas, for study, computer use, and reading in accommodating, socially distant fashion.
• Upgraded furnishings that will be easier to sanitize.
• Courtyard for outdoor events.

“Every day, people are using our computers to look for work or advance their education, and families depend on us to help their children succeed in school,” Cullings said. “Expanding McCormick will allow us to provide more public-access computers and increased educational programming for children, which have become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

For more information on the project and to learn how you can help, please visit dcls.org/YourPlace.