August 9, 2016

Library to “top out” new Northside Branch tomorrow

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is officially “topping out” its new Northside Branch (1423 N. High St.), as the final steel beam to be used in the construction will be installed tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Members of the media are invited to capture the moment the beam is affixed.

CML held a ceremonial “wallbreaking” on March 1, 2016, at the former Northside Branch, which was then demolished to make way for the new branch. CML hopes to open the new branch in spring/summer of 2017.

The Northside Branch project is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program:

  • The new Driving Park Branch opened July 12, 2014
  • The new Whitehall Branch opened April 11, 2015
  • The new Parsons Branch opened June 4, 2016
  • A transformed Main Library reopened June 25, 2016
  • The renovated and expanded Northern Lights Branch is scheduled to reopen Sept. 24, 2016
  • The new Shepard Branch is scheduled to open Oct. 13, 2016
  • Planning is underway for a new Martin Luther King Branch
  • CML is continuing to work with the city of Hilliard on a new Hilliard Branch
  • CML is continuing to work with the city of Dublin on a new Dublin Branch

CML hopes to have all 10 projects completed by 2020.

The former Northside Branch, originally built in 1990, was one of the smallest branches in the system with approximately 7,700 square feet. The new branch (see rendering above) will have approximately 24,900 square feet of space.

CML understands that great libraries create stronger communities, and each branch is an essential hub that reflects the unique needs of the neighborhood it serves. Some of CML’s 22 locations are 40 to 50 years old and inadequate to meet the demands of a growing 21st century community. Demands and expectations will continue to grow, along with the population of Franklin County.

CML’s aspirational building program is the result of a community-wide process that will continue to serve the needs of Franklin County well into the future. The plan is a multi-phased comprehensive blueprint that reinvents and revitalizes the entire 600,000 square feet maintained by the library. In addition to being a vital community asset, Columbus Metropolitan Library strives to minimize its environmental footprint. With each new building or renovation project, CML plans to use sustainable building materials, incorporate glass for natural light to reduce energy costs and introduce other design and building elements friendly to the natural environment.

Phase one of CML’s aspirational building program is transforming and significantly upgrading seven urban branches (Driving Park, Whitehall, Parsons, Martin Luther King, Northside, Northern Lights, Shepard) and two suburban branches (Hilliard and Dublin). In addition, changes to Main Library represent a major investment in downtown Columbus and the Discovery District. Visit columbuslibrary.org for more information and to track progress of CML’s ambitious building program.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.

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