January 24, 2019

Library Board approves architect for Hilltop Branch renovation and expansion

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) Board of Trustees today unanimously approved the selection of Gresham Smith as the architect for the design of the Hilltop Branch renovation and expansion. Construction is expected to begin within the next two years.

The Hilltop Branch, located at 511 S. Hague Ave., was constructed in 1996 and has 20,000 square feet of space. When completed, the renovation and expansion is expected to add an additional 10,000-12,000 square feet.

The Hilltop Branch project is part of Phase II of CML’s aspirational building program to renovate or rebuild its aging and/or outgrown facilities. Phase II also includes transforming or upgrading CML’s Karl Road, Gahanna and Reynoldsburg branches.

CML is currently in the process of completing Phase I of this building program, which renovated or rebuilt 10 of its 23 libraries:

  • 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
  • Construction is underway on a new Dublin Branch, anticipated to open in spring 2019

CML has set out to have all four Phase II projects completed by 2024.

Gresham Smith is a team of diligent designers, creative problem-solvers, insightful planners and seasoned collaborators who work closely with clients to improve the cities and towns we call home. Our employees are diverse in experience, yet we all have one thing in common: genuine care for each other, our partners and the outcome of our work. From roadways and pathways that connect people and places, to hospitals that enhance health and resiliency, to corporate campuses that encourage productivity and teamwork, we have the pleasure of designing communities' most vital institutions and infrastructure. Learn more at greshamsmith.com.

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 21 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 I of CML’s aspirational building program has transformed and significantly upgraded 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 represented a major investment in downtown Columbus and the Discovery District.

Phase II will transform and significantly upgrade four additional branches (Karl Road, Hilltop, Gahanna and Reynoldsburg).

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 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.

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