Northland News

Northern Lights Library

Details about renovation to be revealed July 22


Further details about the planned renovation and expansion of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Northern Lights Branch will be unveiled during a design meeting set for Tuesday, July 22.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the library branch, 4093 Cleveland Ave.

The project's preliminary budget is $9.3 million, according to Ben Zenitsky, marketing and communications specialist for the library system.

The current building is 11,881 square feet. The renovated structure would be more than double that at 28,000 square feet. The project would also increase the number of parking spaces at the branch from 72 to 115.

"It'll be one of the biggest branches in the system," Zenitsky said.

The expansion was made possible by the purchase in October 2013 of a 0.68-acre parcel at nearby 2294 Lehner Road for $210,000.

Patrick Losinski, chief executive officer for the Columbus Metropolitan Library, will be on hand for the July 22 meeting, along with branch Manager Tony Howard and Michael Bongiorno, a principal and senior designer with DesignGroup, the architects, Zenitsky said.

Those attending will have an opportunity to hear results of an online survey, conducted through July 8, in which patrons were asked what three things they would like to see in the updated branch.

"We want this to be a community center, so it's important to us that we engage with the community every step of the way and get their input," Zenitsky said. "There's an energy there and we want to definitely tap into that and make sure it is able to thrive as an expanded and up-to-date branch for that community."

Columbus Metropolitan Library officials are in the midst of a $120-million effort to rebuild seven branches and renovate or expand three others, including the Main Library on South Grant Avenue downtown.

The library system has 21 branches.

Tentative plans for the Northern Lights project call for construction to begin in early 2015, according to Zenitsky. Completion is targeted for mid-2016, he said, adding that might be subject to change.