Tuesday July 2, 2013
Mayor, community break ground on first of three regional libraries
With shovels in hand, Mayor Greg Fischer, Library Director Craig Buthod, Metro Councilman David Yates, Congressman John Yarmuth, representatives of the Library Foundation, the Library Advisory Commission and a crowd of hundreds, officially broke ground today on the new 40,000 square foot Southwest Regional Library located at 9725 Dixie Highway; at Kendall Road near Valley High School.
The long anticipated Southwest Regional will serve more than 100,000 residents in the area and will be twice the size of the existing Southwest Library branch. This new library is one of three regional libraries included in the Louisville Free Public Library’s Updated Master Plan. The other two regional libraries are slated for South Central and Northeast locations.
“We’re all here to build a library together -- a permanent, living breathing expression of this community’s commitment to learning and literacy.” said Buthod.
The state-of-the-art building will branch and will stock more than 140,000 books and other reading materials and provide the latest technologies in touch-screen computers and self-service check-out. Natural light will greet visitors when they arrive through the glass-filled entryway. Interior glass panels and clerestory windows will help filter the light throughout the meeting rooms and the smaller reading and study spaces.
“By working together we were able to make the dream of our Southwest Regional Library a reality that our community will enjoy for generations to come,” said Councilman Yates.
School groups, neighborhood associations and other community groups are expected to make good use of the new library’s expanded meeting spaces:
- a central meeting room accommodating groups as large as 100
- a smaller meeting area for groups up to 45 people
- a glass enclosed space with comfortable furniture for groups from 12 to 15.
A large children’s library will include interactive learning modules for preschool children and special areas for school-aged kids. A dedicated Teen Center includes plenty of places to “plug-in.”
“This new regional library will serve as a destination for families, children and adults seeking to improve their lives through education,” said Mayor Fischer. “If Louisville is to be a city of innovation in the 21st century we must have a well-trained, well-educated workforce. Libraries are an important part of achieving that goal.”
The design team includes JRA Architects, Louisville, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. of Minneapolis, and staff from the library and Project Management Division of the Metro Department of Public Works and Assets.
All aspects of the building have been designed to meet the design and building standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which helps ensure that communities and buildings are designed and built using strategies aimed at increasing performance, reducing waste, and improving quality of life.
The building is estimated to cost $13 million including $9.5 million from the Metro government capital budget and $3.5 million from funds raised by the Library Foundation. Today’s groundbreaking event was sponsored by LG&E.
Construction of the Southwest Regional Library is to be completed in 2014.