Columbus Metropolitan Library officials have announced the proposed transitional design element that would serve as a visual link between the new Dublin branch library’s contemporary architecture and the historic district.

A committee tasked with creating the design element selected one of three final options centering on a former school building that in the 1870s sat on the site of the future Dublin library.

The design concept would feature a recreated corner of the historic school in the south plaza of the Dublin Branch.

The other two options the committee had considered would have featured public art or highlighted the outline of the former school in a more subtle way with pavement changes.

Dublin City Council is expected to review the final site plan for the entire library project Sept. 11.

Committee cooperation

In May, Dublin City Council tasked a committee to work with library architect NBBJ to create a theme and design for the transitional element.

The committee included representatives from the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, the Dublin Historical Society, the Historic Dublin Business Association, the Dublin Arts Council, the Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission and the Dublin Architectural Review Board.

Alison Circle, chief customer experience officer with the library system, said library officials could begin discussing how the design element would be financed after council approves the library plan.

The committee and the library team’s ultimate choice recognizes the Washington Township school that stood on the site of the Dublin branch from 1870 to 1970, said Dublin Historical Society president Tom Holton.

“We hope incorporating this new design element will link the education and learning values of the historic school and the new library,” Holton said.

City Council members viewed the final design during their Aug. 14 meeting.

Councilwoman Christina Alutto said the design does a nice job of bringing Dublin’s past, present and future together.

“I think it’s great,” she said.

Committee members involved with the design development also voiced their approval of the final choice.

David Guion, executive director of the Dublin Arts Council, said the committee became enthralled with the idea of recognizing the former school.

Committee members were uncomfortable with the lengthy process involved in creating a public art commemoration and a simple outline of the school was too subtle, Guion said, so they chose the option that featured a reconstruction of a corner of the school.

In planning the design element, the committee was inspired by the city’s motto, “Where yesterday meets tomorrow,” said Rick Gerber, Historic Dublin Business Association president.

“We embraced the public comment like most boards and special committees do,” he said. “We had a lot of input.”

The committee originally planned to use red brick for the design to match the old school, but members ultimately felt that keeping to the library’s color scheme was a better decision, Gerber said. The L-shape of the design also extends into the building itself, he said. The design symbolizes where learning began in Dublin, and where it’s going in the future.

“We had fun doing it; we really did,” Gerber said.