COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is breaking ground on its new Martin Luther King Branch (see rendering above). To mark the occasion, CML will hold a short, highly visual program that will include library leaders and city and community officials (including Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Good), as well as representatives from project architect Moody•Nolan and construction manager at risk Turner Construction Company.
The brief ceremony will begin promptly at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 1467 E. Long St. Free parking is available at East High School and OSU Hospital East. The event is free and open to all.
The current Martin Luther King Branch is one of the smallest locations in CML’s 23-library system with 8,933 square feet of space. The new branch, which will be located two blocks to the west, will be roughly 18,000 square feet.
On Dec. 8, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly approved the sale of Ohio State University land at the southwest corner of Long Street and Taylor Avenue to CML for the site of the new Martin Luther King Branch. The dedication of the new branch is expected to take place in 2018.
“At nearly 50 years old, the Martin Luther King Branch is the oldest location in our system,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “A larger and more visible 21st Century library will be much better equipped to meet the changing needs of this growing and diverse Near East Side community.”
The Martin Luther King Branch project is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program:
- 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
- Planning is underway for a new Hilliard Branch
- Planning is underway for a new Dublin Branch
CML hopes to have all 10 projects completed by 2020.
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 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 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 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.