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    The Mayor and community recently broke ground on the second of three regional libraries within the Louisville Free Public Library.  Last Friday, Mayor Greg Fischer, newly appointed LFPL Library Director Jim Blanton, Councilwoman Madonna Flood, the Library Advisory Commission, the Library Foundation and members of the community took shovels in hand and officially broke ground on the new 40,000 square foot South Central Regional Library. It will be located on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and McCawley Road in Okolona.


    Many people, especially in south Louisville, are familiar with the Southwest Regional Library which opened to the public roughly a year ago. This new South Central Regional Library will be similar in size and scope to Southwest. It is the second of three regional libraries included in the Louisville Free Public Library’s Updated Master Facilities Plan (the third regional library will be built in Northeast Jefferson County). The South Central Regional Library will eventually  replace the smaller Okolona branch, and Library officials say it will enhance service for more than 160,000 people in south central Jefferson County.

     

    Mayor Greg Fischer is a strong advocate for libraries in the city of Louisville. “From my first day in office, one of my primary goals has been to help Louisville become a city of lifelong learning,” said Mayor Fischer. “And one of the keys to lifelong learning has been to support and invest in our Louisville Free Public Library system. I am excited about the fantastic resources the South Central Regional Library is going to provide for our citizens.”


    The building will be state-of-the-art and will include many features:
    An expanded materials collection 
    Extensive list of bestseller titles
    DVDs and other audio visual collections
    Large type materials
    Materials in multiple languages
    Books for youth and graphic novels
    Latest technologies in touch-screen computers and self-service check-out
    Comfortable design
    Quiet spaces for reading and studying
    Several meeting rooms
    An auditorium
    A large and expanced large children’s area
    A separate teen space and much more

     

    “When libraries are at their very best, the inspiration starts at the front door,” said Library Director Blanton. “I, for one, cannot wait to see this amazing facility come to life, and provide the community with a world-class resource that will energize and expand opportunities for learning, growth and engagement.” 

     

    The design team includes JRA Architects of Louisville, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. of Minneapolis, and staff from the library. According to a recent press release statement, "all aspects of the building’s design have been planned to incorporate advanced, eco-friendly technologies and architectural design to save energy, reduce waste, and improve quality of life. In addition, LFPL is committed to keeping as many trees as possible in order to preserve the beauty of the site and to minimize environmental impact. A number of the hardwood trees removed from the site will be milled and reused on the interior of the new library."


    The price tag on this new South Central Regional Library weighs in at an estimated $14.5 million, with $6 million coming from the state, $6 million in capital funds allocated by Mayor Fischer and approved by the Metro Council, and the additional $2.5 million to be raised from private donors through the Library Foundation.

    Construction of the South Central Regional Library is projected to be completed in early 2017.

    Photos courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library, www.lfpl.org

    Erin Nevitt's picture

    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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