Grove City Record

Library seeks ideas on new building

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The new Grove City Library might have some coffee to go with its books if early demand is met.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Southwest Public Libraries' Board of Trustees hosted an open house in the Grove City Hall council chambers to hear ideas and suggestions for the new Grove City Library, to be built in the Town Center at the intersection of Broadway and Grant Avenue.

"We're excited about the new Grove City Library and are anxious to hear your ideas for the new building," said Lisa Leasure, president of the library trustees.

During the course of the 90-minute meetings, residents and other community officials offered ideas for what they would like to see at the new facility with suggestions ranging from meeting space, art galleries and study rooms to cafes and outdoor patios.

Carol Rorick of the Friends of the Library said there were five things she wanted to see: a large aquarium in children's area, a family restroom in children's area, an auditorium with low stage, art gallery and elevated "treehouse-type" area for pre-teens.

"They want to have their own space," she said of pre-teen patrons.

Bob Rinehart said he would like to see enclosed, self-contained study cubicles, similar to those at the Grandview Heights Public Library, along with classroom space and kiosks.

"I would like to see a cafe in the facility with plenty of seating," he said.

Lisa Napier-Garcia said her 9-year-old son's favorite library room is the computer room.

"Please don't forget those public areas that have games for the younger kids because they are an electronic generation," she said. "Anything to enhance that electronic collection is great."

Library trustee Richard Curtiss also said he'd like to see a genealogy room.

"There comes a time in your life when a light clicks on and you become very interested in family history ... (and) Grove City has a very rich family history and a very rich heritage," he said. "When it's a separate room, you can really get it organized."

Karin Cash offered an idea for the outside look of the building.

"I envision building a library with a facade that looks like books," she said. "It should say library, not government."

The current library, located at 3359 Park St., opened in 1952, said Library Director Mark Shaw, with additions in 1962 and 1974.

"The building as you see it now has not changed since 1974," he said.

Shaw said the existing building has had issues with adapting to newer technology and space.

"We turn people away all the time," he said. "We want to help all those people, but it's impossible in the current space we have."

Among the goals with the new library, Shaw said, will be to be more cost-effective, have more functioning space and be more convenient and welcoming.

Shannon Hamons, vice president of the Pizzuti Cos., which is leading the Town Center redevelopment project, said design parameters have not yet been established for the new library building.

"The library is going to be, I think, a face-changer for the Town Center," Hamons said. "We are going to be working with the library and the city to build what they tell us to build."

Patrons can also participate in an online survey to share their thoughts about the new library at SPL's website, swpl.org.

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