October 21, 2015

Library breaks ground on new Shepard Branch

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has broken ground on its new Shepard Branch.

Groundbreakers, from left to right:

  • Brian Sell, Architect/Project Designer, Moody Nolan Architects
  • Kathy Fox, Vice President, Pizzuti Companies
  • The Honorable Zach Klein, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Tim Frommeyer, Secretary, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • Tony Collins, Director, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department
  • Kathryn Dobbs, Vice President of Community Relations, Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation
  • Erika Clark Jones, Member, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • The Honorable Shannon Hardin, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Jennifer Hadden, President, Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Board
  • Douglas McDonald, President, Shepard Community Association
  • Cindy Hilsheimer, Member, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • Jennifer Hess, Shepard Branch Manager
  • Patrick Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Roger Sugarman, President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • The Honorable Priscilla Tyson, Member, Columbus City Council
  • The Honorable Jaiza Page, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Tiffany White, Chair, North Central Area Commission
  • The Honorable Charleta Tavares, State Senator
  • Amy Milbourne, Member, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Peter Cimbolic, President, Ohio Dominican University
  • The Honorable Kevin Boyce, State Representative
  • The Honorable Andrew Ginther, President, Columbus City Council
  • The Honorable Fran Ryan, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Mary Jo Green, Vice President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Board

The current Shepard Branch is one of the smallest locations in CML’s 22-library system with approximately 6,000 square feet of space. The new branch, which will be located one block to the north, will be roughly 10,000 square feet with 50 parking spaces – up from 28 at the current branch.

In July 2013, CML closed on the purchase of several properties, totaling 3.2 acres, at the northeast corner of East Fifth Avenue and North Nelson Road (see map below) for the site of the new Shepard Branch. The dedication of the new branch is expected to take place in 2016.

The new Shepard 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 earlier this year and the new Whitehall Branch opened to the public on April 11. Additionally, CML broke ground on its Parsons and Northern Lights projects this June.

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 40to 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.