Wednesday October 20, 2010
$2 million larger branch is the latest in $17 million in system improvements
With the powerful punch of a bulldozer, Mayor Jerry Abramson and library officials today broke ground on Louisville’s newest library in Fairdale in Southwest Louisville.
The $2 million, technology-packed center will replace an old, cramped library branch and more than double its current size.
Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch and Library Director Craig Buthod joined Abramson for the formal groundbreaking, which began with demolition of a building on a site near the existing branch to make way for the new facility on Manslick Road.
“A library is much, much more than a building with books,” Abramson said. “It’s a portal to possibilities for our citizens that will pay dividends for many years to come.”
The new Fairdale Library is the latest in more than $17 million in capital improvements in the Louisville Free Public Library system in the past few years. Other projects include a library branch in Newburg, an expanded branch in the Shawnee neighborhood and the remodeling of the Main Library downtown following last year’s flood.
The new Fairdale Library is located at 10620 W. Manslick Road, which is a city-owned site just northeast of the current branch library now shoe-horned into borrowed space in a community center.
The new library will be approximately 7,000 square feet, compared to the former branch’s 3,312 square feet. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2011.
The library design phase included considerable input from the community and it borrows components from the recently completed and successful Newburg Library. Like Newburg, the new Fairdale Library makes extensive use of technology, including a significant number of new public computers. It also takes advantage of an open floor layout that has worked very well in Newburg.
“This is truly a neighborhood library as evidenced by a large children’s section, which we anticipate will be heavily used by pre-school children and students at the elementary school next door,” Buthod said. In addition, space for teen computers and homework assistance will fulfill a community need for constructive activities after school.
The Fairdale Library is also a green building project, Abramson said. “From the recycling of materials in the demolition of this site to the design and materials for the new building, we are thinking about the environment,” he said. “Just as we did with the Newburg Library, this branch is built to save energy and operating costs.”
For more information about the Louisville Free Public Library, go to www.lfpl.org or call 574-1611.