The following is an editorial from the April 26 edition of The Columbus Dispatch acknowledging our library as an example for other publicly funded agencies as plans for the branch rebuilding initiative continue to unfold.
More information on the building initiative can be found here on CML’s website.
Renovation of library branch benefits patrons, community
The worn, suburban-looking library building wedged between the Short North and the University District no longer suits its newly hip, urban and densely packed neighborhood, so much so that the Columbus Metropolitan Library has decided it is time to update its Northside branch.
The building at 1423 N. High St. is only 22 years old, but the community and its needs have changed in just two decades. The library is considered too small and viewed as a scar on the historic streetscape: The modern building sits back from the sidewalk and is flanked by asphalt parking lots.
The library board, which is rebuilding branches in the city’s core, recognized that in this case, it has a chance to redevelop a prime piece of real estate. It’s working with a developer, architects and a construction contractor to plan a mixed-use development, which might include businesses or restaurants, along with a library that is three times larger.
Details are being worked out, but the library’s creativity in stretching public dollars by partnering with the private sector is an example for other publicly funded agencies. Most likely, the community will end up with a more-vibrant project, and taxpayers will save money.