Mayor and Metro Council announce $25 million in construction projects at parks and libraries across Louisville

December 19, 2023

Funding comes from the American Rescue Plan and will focus on four library branches plus deferred maintenance at parks and community centers

Mayor Greenberg joined members of the Metro Council today to announce more than a dozen new construction projects at parks and libraries across the city. Last week, the council approved $25 million in American Rescue Plan funding for renovations at four library branches and deferred maintenance projects at various parks and community centers. The mayor and council members formally announced the projects at a press conference at the Parkland Library in West Louisville.

“Whether it’s Jefferson Memorial Forest, a neighborhood park, or one our 17 library branches, Louisville’s parks and libraries are among the most popular places to visit in the entire city,” said Mayor Greenberg. “When it became clear we needed to reinvest this federal funding we focused on projects that will impact the most people. I am so thankful for the Metro Council’s quick work to deploy this funding so we can get started on these exciting upgrades and renovations in the very near future.”

Parks and Recreation to invest $10 million in deferred maintenance

The $10 million allocated to Louisville Parks and Recreation will go toward a wide array of projects across the city that will include an additional $2 million for upgrades to the Algonquin and Norton pools, parking lot and sport court resurfacing and replacement, new lighting, and repairs to shelters and community centers. $1.2 million will go towards new equipment for the department’s operations and forestry teams as well as some desperately needed upgrades at parks and recreation maintenance facilities.

“Each of these projects is vitally important to those who use our parks and community centers every single day. I want to thank Mayor Greenberg and the Metro Council for giving them their full attention,” said Jason Canuel, Director of Parks and Recreation. “This continued investment will only strengthen our city and we are eager to get to work improving our facilities across Louisville.”

Four libraries to undergo extensive renovations

The Portland Library has served continuously since opening in 1913. However, the building has not been extensively renovated in more than three decades. ARP funding, coupled with private and state dollars will allow LFPL to more than double the square footage of Portland – from 6,000 to nearly 12,000. The building will be wheelchair accessible and offer modern library services seen at our other recently built libraries, including new technologies and a makerspace.

The building of a new Fern Creek Library will return library services to one of the fastest growing areas of Metro Louisville, after budget cuts forced the closure of the old branch in 2019. The new, state-of-the-art 18,000-square-foot library—located on Fern Creek Road next to Fern Creek High School—will be similar in size and scope to the recently built St. Matthews Library.

The Main Library—opened in 1908 and expanded in 1969-- is the largest public library facility in the state and serves as the nucleus of our Louisville Free Public Library System. ARP funding will support transformative changes to Louisville’s flagship library and bring it on par with LFPL’s three world-class regional libraries opened over the last decade.

In 2021, the council approved nearly $20 million in ARP funding for these three projects plus renovations to the Parkland Library. Today’s allocation of an additional $15 million in ARP funding, coupled with a pledged $5 million to be raised by the Library Foundation, closes the remaining funding gap for all four projects to $4.7 million.

“By allocating additional funding to these capital projects, Mayor Greenberg and Metro Council are allowing the Louisville Free Public Library to better serve the growing needs of our community now and into the future,” said Library Director Lee Burchfield. “With the additional dollars, we won’t have to compromise on these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. We will be able to move these projects forward, from aspirational designs to inspirational spaces.”

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