COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is breaking ground on its new Parsons Branch. To mark the occasion, CML will hold a short, highly visual program that will include library leaders and city and community officials, as well as representatives from project architect Moody•Nolan, construction manager at risk Turner and owner’s representative Pizzuti Companies. The brief ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2 at 1113 Parsons Ave. between Stewart and Deshler avenues. Side street parking is available, as is the lot along the west side of the former Barrett School at 345 E. Deshler Ave. The event is free and open to all.
The current Parsons Branch at 845 Parsons Ave. is one of the oldest (originally built in 1956 and renovated in 1991) and smallest (approximately 7,600 square feet) locations in CML’s 22-library system. The new branch, which will be located less than half a mile to the south, will be more than twice its size at approximately 19,000 square feet with 64 parking spaces – up from 20 at the current branch.
On Nov. 22, 2013, CML closed on the purchase of seven properties along the west side of Parsons Avenue between Stewart and Deshler avenues (see map below) for the site of the new Parsons Branch. The dedication of the new branch is expected to take place in 2016.
The new Parsons Branch 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 Northern Lights, Northside and Shepard projects this year.
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 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 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.