January 28, 2016

Library to host “wallbreaking” ceremony to kick off construction of new Northside Branch

Ceremony to take place Tuesday, March 1 at 10 a.m.

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is kicking off construction of its new Northside Branch (see rendering below). To mark the occasion, CML will hold a short, highly visual “wallbreaking” ceremony that will include library leaders and city and community officials. The brief program will begin promptly at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1 at 1423 N. High St. Parking is available in the branch parking lot and along side streets. The event is free and open to all.

The Northside Branch was originally completed in 1990. The upcoming demolition and new construction will more than triple the size of the branch from 7,728 square feet to approximately 25,000, increase parking and offer more room for programs and services. Turner is the construction manager at risk, NBBJ is the architect and Pizzuti Companies is the owner’s representative.

The Northside Branch project is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program. The new Driving Park Branch opened in July 2014, renovations formally began on Main Library in February 2015 and the new Whitehall Branch opened to the public in April 2015. Additionally, CML broke ground on its Parsons and Northern Lights branch projects in June 2015 and on its new Shepard Branch in October. Still to come are groundbreakings for CML’s Hilliard, Dublin and Martin Luther King branch projects, which the library hopes to take place within the next few years.

To prepare for construction, the Northside Branch will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19. CML is working to identify a nearby temporary location for customers. In the meantime, customers are encouraged to visit CML’s Whetstone Branch and Main Library when it reopens June 25.

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.