The Press Newspaper
As a major expansion of the Oregon Branch Library on Dustin Road nears, library officials are making plans to continue services, including working from a temporary site at the former Wynn Elementary School.
The branch on Dustin Road will be open through Aug. 9 and construction on the 3,700-square-foot expansion will start by late August or early September, said Susan Skitkowski, branch services administrator, during a meeting Monday to offer patrons a look at site plans.
Dan Meehan, a principal with HBM Architects, Cleveland, said contract bids will be received by late July for the project, which is expected to cost about $2.5 million.
A June or July 2015 completion date is planned.
Meehan’s presentation Monday included renderings of the interior and exterior of the building. Almost all of the additional floor area will be used for public space, including a room for children story times and a room for teens with easy access to the Internet.
A meeting room is also being expanded and there will be a 24-hour lobby area for patrons to drop off and pick up materials.
High glass windows will be a feature throughout the building, Meehan said, and the revamped library will feature lower shelves for books.
“There will be lots of glass and stone,” he said.
The branch was built in 1988 and currently covers about 14,800 square feet. Even through the building is being expanded, none of the trees on the property will be lost to construction, Meehan added.
Lisa Green, branch manager, said the library intends to offer basic services out of the former Wynn School on Bayshore Road by late August. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
She said the expansion will enhance service for the public.
“The newly designed customer service desk will provide both circulation and reference services at one point, making it a one-stop process for patrons,” Green said. “There will also be additional spaces that will enhance services to children and teens, plus increase adult reading and browsing areas. The addition to the meeting room will accommodate larger community groups and library programs plus provide the ability to host more than one meeting at a time.”
An auction of some of the library’s furniture is tentatively planned for Aug. 22, said Charlie Oswanski, superintendent for facilities and operations of Toledo Lucas County Public Library.
The library held a meeting last August to seek public input on the proposed expansion.
Oswanski said then he could see a shift in how many patrons use libraries.
“Our meeting rooms get a lot of use and that one (at the Oregon branch) as it relates to the rest of the system is small. We’re becoming more of a place that people not only come to for checking out a book but also for inter-acting and collaborating. We’re becoming more and more of a public space,” he said at the time.
About 35 persons attended the meeting Monday.
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