COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) will break ground on its new Karl Road Branch (5590 Karl Rd.) on Wednesday, March 25 at 3:30 p.m., kicking off construction with a highly visual ceremony that will include library leaders and city and community officials. The brief event is free and open to all. (NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, this event has been canceled.)
The current Karl Road Branch, built in 1988, is one of the most heavily used branches in CML’s 23-location system. The new Karl Road Branch will be built on the same site as the current branch and will double its size from roughly 20,000 square feet to approximately 40,000 square feet. Due to the distance of the current branch from the street, the current Karl Road Branch is expected to remain open while the new branch is constructed closer to the street. CML hopes to open the new Karl Road Branch in 2021. Turner is the construction manager at risk and Moody Nolan 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 Karl Road Branch project represents the kickoff of Phase II, which will renovate or rebuild an additional four locations:
- The new Karl Road Branch will break ground on March 25, 2020
- Planning is underway for a Hilltop Branch renovation and expansion
- Planning is underway for a new Gahanna Branch
- Planning is underway for a new Reynoldsburg Branch
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.
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.