January 12, 2015

Library to host “wall-breaking” ceremony to kick off Main Library renovation

COLUMBUS—On Tuesday, Feb. 24, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) will officially kick off the renovation of Main Library with a ceremonial “wall-breaking.”

  • Main Library “wall-breaking” ceremony
  • 96 S. Grant Ave.
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015
  • 5:30 p.m. – “Wall-breaking” ceremony

Library board members, staff, donors, dignitaries and members of the media are invited to attend the ceremony, which will feature brief remarks and a highly visual “wall-breaking” by city officials and several of CML’s youngest customers.

The renovation of Main Library (see renderings below) is its first since 1991, and represents a major piece of CML’s aspirational building program to renovate or rebuild 10 library locations within the next few years.

CML’s primary goals with the Main Library renovation are to:

  • Build a library that meets the needs of CML’s customers
  • Connect the library to Topiary Park to provide outdoor reading space
  • Update the front plaza on Grant Avenue
  • Add a grand reading room with sweeing views of Topiary Park
  • Enhance the children’s area

Main Library was originally completed in 1907 with money donated by Andrew Carnegie. Its expansion beyond the Carnegie building was completed in 1991. Work on the upcoming renovation is expected to be completed in August 2016.

The renovation will be completed in phases, allowing library operations and services to be available to customers.

Architects GUND Partnership and Schooley Caldwell Associates (approved at the Jan. 22, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting) are designing the renovation, and Turner (approved Sept. 30, 2013) will serve as construction manager at risk.

Also as part of the library’s aspirational building program, the new Driving Park Branch opened on July 12, 2014, and the new Whitehall Branch is scheduled to open in April 2015.

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.