COLUMBUS—In preparation for construction of Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) new Gahanna Branch, the current Gahanna Branch, located at 310 Granville St., will close to the public at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.
Then, on Wednesday, July 14 at 10:30 a.m., CML will kick off construction of the new branch with a short, highly visual groundbreaking ceremony that will include library leaders and city and community officials. The brief event is free and open to all. Attendees are asked to please wear a mask if they have not yet been vaccinated, and to please not attend if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or recently tested positive for COVID-19. Parking is available in the branch parking lot.
CML will open a temporary Gahanna Branch at 310 Hamilton Rd. in the Hunter’s Ridge Shopping Center. The temporary Gahanna Branch, scheduled to open on Monday, June 28, will have the following hours: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The collection size will be reduced with a focus on high-interest titles. When the new Gahanna Branch opens in 2022, the collection will return to its normal size.
The Gahanna Branch, built in 1991 and renovated in 1998, is one of the most heavily used branches in CML’s 23-location system. The new two-level Gahanna Branch, to be built on the same site, will nearly double the size of the current branch from roughly 21,400 square feet to approximately 37,500 square feet. Turner is the construction manager at risk and NBBJ is the architect.
In 2019, CML completed Phase I of its aspirational building program, which renovated or rebuilt 10 of its 23 locations:
- 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
- The transformed Main Library opened June 25, 2016
- The new Northern Lights Branch opened Sept. 24, 2016
- The new Shepard Branch opened Oct. 13, 2016
- The new Northside Branch opened June 22, 2017
- The new Hilliard Branch opened June 21, 2018
- The new Martin Luther King Branch opened Oct. 18, 2018
- The new Dublin Branch opened June 6, 2019
The Gahanna Branch project is part of Phase II, which will renovate or rebuild an additional four locations:
- The new Karl Road Branch is expected to open in 2021
- The transformed Hilltop Branch is expected to open in 2021
- The new Gahanna Branch is expected to open in 2022
- Planning for a new Reynoldsburg Branch is underway
CML hopes to have all four Phase II projects completed by 2024.
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 23 locations are 30 to 40 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.
Visit columbuslibrary.org for more information and to track progress of CML’s ambitious building program.