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Metro Newsroom

Mayor Moves Forward on New Southwest Regional Library

Monday March 1, 2010

Public input will be essential part of design process

Mayor Jerry Abramson has given approval to take the next step in the expansion of the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) – design of a new regional library for Southwest Louisville.

Library Director Craig Buthod and the Library Advisory Commission made the request to move forward with design of the first of the three regional libraries recommended in the LFPL’s Master Plan.

The Metro Council and Abramson set aside $3.75 million in bonds for library improvements in Newburg and Southwest Louisville in the 2008-09 budget. About half of the money went to build and equip a new, modern branch library in Newburg, the city’s first new library in decades.

“Southwest Louisville needs a modern, high-tech library to serve the needs of our citizens,” Abramson said. “Moving forward on the design process now draws us closer to making that a reality.”

In 2006, Abramson used a one-time dividend to purchase land for three regional libraries, paying $1.2 million for a 4.1-acre parcel at Dixie Highway and Kendall Road, adjacent to the Meijer store.

Construction of the library could begin in two to three years depending on economic conditions and the city’s financial situation, Abramson said. The price tag for construction, books, computers and furnishings is estimated at $13 million to $15 million, Buthod said.

The new regional library will serve more than 100,000 people who live within five miles of the site.

In the coming months, the Louisville Free Public Library will begin soliciting community input from library patrons and other residents of southwest Jefferson County by attending community meetings and conducting public meetings, Buthod said.

The project team developing the library’s design will be led by The Corradino Group, already under contract as the library’s capital plan manager, and will include: the library’s program architect, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. of Minneapolis; a local architect to be selected later this year; and staff from the library and the Project Management Division of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Works and Assets.

The regional library will stock more than 100,000 books and other materials and will include more public computers than any other branch library, based on the Library’s Updated Master Plan.

Additional planned services include:

· community rooms

· more space for homework and quiet study

· large children’s library (as large as the one at the Main Library)

· special area dedicated for use by teenagers.

Lessons learned through the development of the Newburg Library last year will influence the design of the new regional library, Buthod said. Like the Newburg Library, the Southwest Regional Library is expected to feature state-of-the-art environmental and energy-conservation elements and cutting-edge technology.