Library could lose space to Columbus Street

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By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

An idea floating around the city could change the face of the relocated Grove City Library.

City leaders have discussed the possibility of extending Columbus Street so it intersects with Broadway and would connect to the Beulah Park property. The Grove City Library is to relocate to that corner. Extending the road would take some space from the library building.

The idea was discussed at a special June 9 work session at City Hall. Grove City council members, city administration and representatives from the Southwest Public Libraries took part in the meeting.

Mark Shaw, director of Southwest Public Libraries, said the library’s board of trustees had misgivings about the proposed idea.

“We wanted to withhold judgment until an architect or engineer studied the matter,” said Shaw.

The Grove City Library is to move from its current location on Park Street to the site on Broadway. The new building was to be 48,000 square feet. Representatives from the library believe that if Columbus Street were to go through the area to the Beulah property, it would be more challenging to build the library site. They are also concerned about pedestrian access and reduced parking.

Council president Ted Berry said council was committed to the library moving to that location, but said the city has to look at the bigger picture.

“How can we connect the Town Center to Beulah,” Berry asked. “The redevelopment of Beulah could be a big economic boost to our community. How do we create a square that includes that property?”

According to the library trustees, the new library site would provide more space for children services and meeting space.

“We have to keep pace with the changing world,” said trustee Jill Billman Royer. “A library is not just about books anymore.”

Billman Royer said they have no space for meetings at the current library on Park Street. She said they have to schedule the meeting at the Westland Area Library on West Broad Street.

Berry said the face of libraries have changed just in the past 10 years.

“Libraries are more of gathering places now,” said Berry. “There is a whole new component of libraries today.”

According to Shaw, the library board and its patrons have been reviewing space needs for the new location. This summer, the library should begin its design phase.

The library anticipated a summer groundbreaking, but now is looking at February to March 2015. Once construction begins, it should take approximately a year to complete.

Berry said the Columbus Street extension is just a proposal at this point.

The council president also said the city plans to host a work session every other month to update the community on Town Center projects.

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