Rocky Fork Enterprise

Library purchases School for the Deaf property


A plan to expand the Main Library downtown is one step closer to reality.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library purchased the old Ohio School for the Deaf property last week, paving the way for growth opportunities at the downtown facility, 96 S. Grant St.

Library officials are considering extending the library building to the east and creating an outdoor terrace area that overlooks Topiary Park, owned by the city of Columbus.

"We are absolutely thrilled this happened as quickly as it did," said Gregg Dodd, marketing manager for the library system.

"Our vision is the connection with Topiary Park, so we're most interested in that strip of land between the library and the park itself."

The library spent $2.16 million on the 2.24-acre property, which is part of the Discovery District.

"This allows us to begin thinking of next steps, which is space planning and working on a request for proposals for architects," Dodd said.

Library officials haven't decided what will become of the former Deaf School building, but are in negotiations to sell the four-story structure to Cristo Rey Columbus High School, which is looking for a permanent facility downtown.

Dodd said the library board will meet in April to decide how to proceed.

"It's pretty early to determine a timeframe, but we want to move as quickly as possible," he said.