A new building Project designed By the Columbus community

Libraries are evolving into community spaces.

While libraries are still widely defined as buildings filled with books, their definition has changed drastically in today’s world.

For 137 years, the Columbus Public Library has been connecting people with education, enrichment and entertainment. This building project honors that legacy and connects Columbus to our future.

Bringing together multiple entities in one building creates opportunities for collaboration to the benefit of the community. This building would house the Columbus Public Library and City Hall, as well as provide leased space to a Children’s Museum and coffee shop.

Community Impacts

  • Serves as an anchor of amenities for downtown Columbus
  • Provides a true community gathering place
  • Much-needed meeting & presentation spaces
  • Abundance of relevant resources
  • Amenities that promote lifelong learning and collaboration through technology, art exhibits, interactive presentations, various classes and social activities.

Community Impacts

  • Serves as an anchor of amenities for downtown Columbus
  • Provides a true community gathering place
  • Much-needed meeting & presentation spaces
  • Abundance of relevant resources
  • Amenities that promote lifelong learning and collaboration through technology, art exhibits, interactive presentations, various classes and social activities.

Larger
Impacts

  • New services and amenities would attract visitors
  • More visitors would help Columbus stay competitive with not only with neighboring cities, but on a national level
  • Demonstrates to potential employers that Columbus offers a positive quality of life
  • Enables citizens to thrive and connect to a larger, ever-changing world.

We asked the Columbus community to describe their vision of a modern library

Specific spaces like a community room, art gallery and children’s museum surfaced among surveys and meetings. This space is dedicated to connecting what’s most important to the Columbus community.

The space: inside & out

Featuring the library, community room, art gallery, children’s museum, coffee shop and city hall, the total square footage of the building is 77,380 SF. The children’s museums and coffee shop will be built as shell spaces, operated by independent organizations.

The location

The community selected the downtown Columbus location, using the south half of blocks currently occupied by the library and City Hall. The building is oriented to take advantage of the proximity of Frankfort Square.

The OUTSIdE

Connected off-street parking is planned for the east side of the building, where City Hall is currently. The closure of south 25th avenue physically connects the parking lot to the building, allowing for various covered courtyards along a visitor’s path to the main entrance and visitor drop-off.

The First Floor

At the heart of the first floor is a shared community room, city council chambers and an art gallery, welcoming visitors into a shared entry and three-story atrium. Restrooms, pre-function space and vertical circulation are accessible directly within the entry way.

The Children’s Museum is located on the east corner of the building, with a separate entry and access into the shared entry. Highlighting the children’s museum entrance is an inviting green space on the southeast corner, which is expected to showcase additional activity displays.

The SECOND Floor

An open staircase and elevator leads to the rest of the library, which includes the remaining adult collection, gathering space, meeting rooms, a local history or heritage room, staff space and building supports such as bathrooms and circulation.

At the center of the second floor is teen space and makerspace.

At the east end of the building is a children’s area, with a view directly adjacent to the children’s museum.

All areas have direct access to natural light with views of the park as well.

The Third Floor

The third floor is comprised of city hall and additional building support.

Terraces for public events are located on the southwest and southeast corners, accessible by elevator or primary stair. The southwest terrace showcases Frankfort Square’s primary views.

Timeline

Today

A Project education campaign is underway to communicate the value and benefits this facility would bring to the Columbus community.

November 3,
2020

In the general election this November, a ballot question will ask Columbus residents to approve issuing bonds to pay for the library, community room, art gallery and children’s museum portion of the project. These bonds would be paid using the existing half-percent sales tax currently being collected for this purpose.

Spring
2021

If approved, project design would begin with a target construction date in Spring 2021. During construction, the library will be available to the community and operate out of a temporary space.

Early
2023

Anticipated Opening