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Trustees Authorize Library Director to Engage in Discussions with Mill Creek about Possible Branch in the Wick Recreation Area

YOUNGSTOWN (May 29 2014) -- At a special board meeting on May 29, the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County heard a report from Library Executive Director Heidi Daniel updating them on talks concerning whether the West Library should remain in its current location on Mahoning Avenue or be moved to the warming house in the Wick Recreation Center of Mill Creek Park.

Ms. Daniel reported to the Board that the West Library Advisory Committee, comprised of West Side residents, 4th Ward Councilman Mike Ray, 5th Ward Councilman Paul Drennen, and designees of the councilmen and Library Director, gathered for four meetings to discuss the issues involving the redevelopment of the West Library. Meetings were facilitated by Kathleen Fox.

The committee held four long working sessions, during which they toured the current West Library and the warming house and discussed pros and cons of both locations and possible solutions depicted in a West Library Redevelopment Study presented to Trustees in March.

Ms. Daniel noted that the committee, after a particularly long work session on May 20, voted 8-1 to recommend that the West Library be moved to the warming house in the Wick Recreation Center of Mill Creek Park. Hand-in-hand with this, the committee expressed concern about the disposition of the current building on Mahoning Avenue, not wanting another empty building on that street or any undesirable situation with the unused building.

Ms. Daniel did not ask the Library Board to take action at this meeting. Board Member and Youngstown Mayor John McNally asked the board to delay action to allow time for residents to provide him with input.

Ms. Daniel did ask Library Trustees to authorize her, as Library Executive Director, to move forward with further discussions with Mill Creek Park concerning locating the West Library at the Wick Recreation Area. Additionally, she expressed an idea that the current property on Mahoning Avenue might be suitable for a small tech center and asked that she be allowed to explore the feasibility and cost of this idea. Library computers and Internet access are the most used features of the current West Library. Trustees agreed.

More information, including a Q and A, will be posted on this website soon.
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  Study looks at renovations to current West Library building 
and possible alternate site in Mill Creek Park

Trustee Building and Sites Committee Hears Results  
of West Library Redevelopment Study  

If you'd like to share your opinion about the study or the two locations, call 330-740-6088 or email jloew@libraryvisit.org

YOUNGSTOWN (March 25, 2014) - Members of the Library's Board of Trustees Building and Sites Committee met in special session today to hear details of a redevelopment study of library service on the West Side of Youngstown. Frank Rulli of Ron Faniro Architects did the study and shared results with the Trustee Committee in a meeting at 9 a.m. today in the Main Library of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

The Library requested that a study be made of the current West Library facility, located at 2815 Mahoning Ave., and also explore an alternate location, should library service be moved from the current location. The Trustee Committee learned that the alternate location in the study is the former warming house at the Wick Recreation Area of Mill Creek Park. It was reported that officials at Mill Creek Park are willing to explore this partnership option, as well.

"We are committed to providing library service on the West Side," said Library Executive Director Heidi Daniel, who noted that Library Trustees would not be asked to take action at this time. The next step will be to gather input from the public over the coming weeks. "We will be working with neighborhood groups, officials and individuals from the West Side to discuss the options put forward in the study," Ms. Daniel notes."It is exciting to me to consider the possibility of two public entities, the Library and Mill Creek Park, coming together in a partnership such as this, utilizing resources in a situation in which each organization, and the community, would benefit."

The current West Library building is comprised of a structure built in the 1920s and two additions. The current building would need some major repairs and there are problems with this facility, such as handicap accessibility, that would have to be addressed in any redevelopment. The current library is not well-used. The Mill Creek facility is in a more populated area than the current library branch and the Wick Recreation Area is high-traffic.The Library would explore the possibility of working with WRTA to provide bus service to the library, if it were to move to the Mill Creek location.

"We want to do something meaningful on the West Side," Ms. Daniel said. "We want to create something unique and special for West Side residents, a library that will draw people to it."

People interested in providing input can discuss their thoughts with their neighborhood groups, or contact the Library at 330.744.8636, ext. 51620, or by emailing jloew@libraryvisit.org-

The following links will open presentations. The public is encouraged to review this information and provide input.

Use this link in your web browser to open PowerPoint presentation by Frank Rulli to the trustees (Note: this link requires PowerPoint.)

http://www.libraryvisit.org/West-Library-presentation.ppt

Use this link in your web browser to open a PDF file of the redevelopment study (Note: long download):

http://www.libraryvisit.org/West-Library-redevelopment-study-fnl.pdf

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