June 28, 2018

Board of Trustees authorizes library to move forward on four additional building projects

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) Board of Trustees today authorized CML to put out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a construction manager at risk to oversee four additional building projects:

  • A new Karl Road Branch on its existing site
  • A significant Hilltop Branch renovation and expansion
  • A Reynoldsburg Branch renovation or rebuild
  • A Gahanna Branch renovation, rebuild or relocation

These four projects represent Phase II of CML’s 2020 Vision Plan, which was developed in 2009 to address and prioritize the needs of its aging locations and the evolving community demands upon them. Phase I renovated or rebuilt 10 of CML’s 23 locations, including its Main Library. Eight of the 10 projects are complete. The new Martin Luther King Branch is scheduled to open later this year and the new Dublin Branch is scheduled to open in 2019. The success of Phase I has prompted library leaders to look ahead to additional building and community needs throughout the CML service area.

The four buildings were identified due to their age and/or the growing needs of the communities they serve. Another key factor in the decision is rapid population growth in central Ohio that is exceeding recent estimates by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).

Phase II of CML’s 2020 Vision Plan is possible due to:

  • CML’s track record of fiscal responsibility
  • CML’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars
  • The overwhelming community support CML received during its 2010 levy campaign
  • The overwhelming support the CML Foundation received during its Great Libraries Create capital fundraising campaign

CML will continue to invest in and refresh those library locations not included in its building program to meet its customers’ needs.

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.

Phase I 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 Challenge 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 and career 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. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.