COLUMBUS—At 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) Northern Lights Branch will close and remain closed throughout the remainder of its renovation and expansion – expected to be completed in 2016. A temporary space for the branch, located within the former Brookhaven High School (4077 Karl Rd.) less than two miles away, will open to the public at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 4 after undergoing minor renovations.
Hours of operation in the temporary branch will remain the same as current branch hours, and the collection size will be reduced with a focus on high-interest titles. When the Northern Lights Branch reopens in its expanded space in 2016, the collection will return to its current size.
CML leased the 12,000-square-foot temporary space – within the school’s former library and computer lab – from Columbus City Schools for $1 a year for two years.
The Northern Lights Branch was originally completed in 1993, and is one of the most heavily used branches in the CML system. The upcoming renovation and expansion will more than double the size of the branch from 11,881 square feet to more than 26,000, increase parking and offer more room for programs and services. Turner is the construction manager at risk and DesignGroup is the architect.
The Northern Lights Branch project represents the first renovation and expansion in CML’s 10-project aspirational building program. The new Driving Park Branch opened on July 12, 2014, renovations began on Main Library on Feb. 24 and the new Whitehall Branch is scheduled to open on April 11.
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.