Keith Hanson received an enthusiastic welcome when he was called on to give his report at the July 10 meeting of the Northland Community Council.
After all, the manager of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Karl Road branch had some unusually good news for council representatives.
The 20,000-square-foot library, which opened in 1988, is one of four branches included in the second round of an ongoing expansion and replacement program. The library's board of trustees voted June 28 to seek requests for qualifications from potential construction managers for the projects, which library CEO Patrick A. Losinski has indicated could result in the Karl Road branch doubling in size.
"We're super-excited about that," Hanson said at the NCC session.
He said that public input "will be a big part of it" as the upgraded Karl Road project moves along.
"It's way, way early stages," Hanson said, adding that while the new building will be on the same site, it's uncertain if the existing branch will remain open during construction.
"There are lots of moving parts," he said.
Steve Thompson, a former community council president and a representative, reminded Hanson that a time capsule was buried in front of the building when the branch opened three decades ago.
"It's on my radar to find it," Hanson said.
"We've got the population for it," Forest Park Civic Association representative Ken Gilbert said of the larger library.
Hanson said he was particularly pleased at the prospect of having more community meeting space. Several civic associations used to hold their monthly sessions at the branch, he said.
Also at the July 10 meeting, held a week later than usual due to Red, White and Boom falling on the first Tuesday of the month, NCC members heard from Jill Frost. She is the foster-parent recruiter for St. Vincent Family Center, a pediatric nonprofit agency at 1490 E. Main St in Columbus.
Foster families are critically needed, Frost said, which is why she's making presentations to civic organizations throughout central Ohio.
"Foster care is a last resort when children cannot stay at home for whatever reasons," she said.
The opioid crisis has made a bad situation worse, Frost said.
"The things that can break families apart are doing it faster," Frost said. "We have a critical need in our community for families."
"There's a real need for it right now," said Alicia Ward, NCC president. "The number of kids who need foster care is growing and the number of people willing to do it is growing smaller."