November 2, 2015

Library announces reopening date for Main Library

Building to reopen June 25, 2016 after 14 months of renovation

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has announced the grand reopening date of Main Library. The library’s flagship location will reopen with a free community celebration on Saturday, June 25, 2016.

Main Library closed to the public on April 13 to begin renovations – its first since 1991. The work represents a major piece of CML’s aspirational building program to renovate or rebuild 10 library locations within the next few years.

CML’s primary goals with the Main Library renovation are to:

  • Build a library that meets the needs of CML’s customers
  • Connect the library to Topiary Park to provide outdoor reading space
  • Update the front plaza on Grant Avenue
  • Add a reading room that will also serve as a civic event space
  • Enhance the children’s area

Main Library was originally completed in 1907 with money donated by Andrew Carnegie. Its expansion beyond the Carnegie building was completed in 1991.

Architects GUND Partnership and Schooley Caldwell Associates (approved at the Jan. 22, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting) have designed the renovation, and Turner (approved Sept. 30, 2013) is serving as construction manager at risk.

The Main Library renovation is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program. The new Driving Park Branch opened on July 12, 2014, the new Whitehall Branch opened to the public on April 11. Additionally, CML broke ground on its Parsons and Northern Lights projects this June and its Shepard Branch on Oct. 20. Additionally, CML plans to break ground on its Northside, Hilliard, Dublin and Martin Luther King branch projects within the next two years.

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 Centers, 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.