May 28, 2015

Library Board approves architect for new Hilliard Branch

CML moves forward with branch relocation to Hickory Chase

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) Board of Trustees today unanimously approved the selection of DesignGroup as the architect for the design of the new Hilliard Branch.

At a special board meeting on May 4, Trustees authorized CML’s chief financial officer, Paula Miller, to proceed into lease negotiations with the city of Hilliard that would relocate the Hilliard Branch into the former Hickory Chase development. The 86-acre Hickory Chase site, initially slated to be a residential community for seniors, fell into foreclosure in 2009 and has remained unfinished along Davidson Road between Leap Road and Britton Parkway. Pending negotiations, CML would lease a portion of the clubhouse for the site of the new Hilliard Branch. Renovation of the space, expected to be between 42,000 and 50,000 square feet, is expected to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2017.

The current Hilliard Branch, located at 4772 Cemetery Rd., was constructed in 1996 and has 20,005 square feet of space. It is one of the most heavily used CML locations, with 1,844,604 items checked out in 2014, the most in the system.

DesignGroup was previously hired to design CML’s Northern Lights Branch renovation and expansion, scheduled to begin June 17 and be completed in 2016.

The new Hilliard Branch project is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program. The new Driving Park Branch opened on July 12, 2014, renovations formally began on Main Library in February and the new Whitehall Branch opened to the public on April 11. Additionally, CML plans to break ground on its Parsons, Northern Lights, Northside and Shepard projects this year, and on its Dublin and Martin Luther King projects in 2016.

DesignGroup, which was founded in 1972, provides comprehensive services in architecture, interior design, planning and programming, graphics, sustainable design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) services. As designers of the built environment, they create compelling and sophisticated designs enhanced by strong leadership and solid project management. DesignGroup’s library practice is passionate about library planning and design and the important role libraries play in enhancing the quality of life and learning for the communities they serve. For more information, visit

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 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.