Library Officials Break Ground for Michael Kusalaba Branch Library

YOUNGSTOWN (For Release at Noon, November 10, 2016) – The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County broke ground for the new Michael Kusalaba Branch Library at noon on Thursday, November 10, at a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the old West Library, 2815 Mahoning Ave.

The branch is part of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County system and is being named in honor of a donation from the Michael Kusalaba Fund of the Youngstown Foundation of $1.68 million dollars for construction of the new library. The project is expected to cost approximately $3.775 million and take about a year to complete. The Library operates debt-free and money has been set aside for this construction project, in addition to this generous donation.

Dr. David Ritchie, president of the Library Board of Trustees, welcomed attendees and thanked members of the Michael Kusalaba family attending the event, Ray Kucalaba* and Mary Ann Huwig, for their generosity, “Library Trustees, administration and staff are grateful for the faith they [the Kusalaba family] have placed in us to provide a wonderful new library on the West Side in memory of their brother. Michael Kusalaba was a child when his family moved to Youngstown. They lived very near the West Library. His siblings recall that Michael walked to the library almost every day and that the library was important in their lives. What a wonderful legacy this library will be.”

Dr. Ritchie thanked the community for their input into the project: “Some of you here may have participated in conversations when we asked you to provide us with input on what the community wanted and needed in a library. We thank you for your participation.  We believe that this new library will reflect that we asked for your input – and we listened. We are committed to providing only the best in library service in Mahoning County. We believe this new branch will meet that goal.”


Library Executive Director Heidi Daniel said, “It is so wonderful to be here today as we break ground on this new much-anticipated library. The road to arrive here may have been long and winding, but that makes it all the more satisfying, knowing that a new community learning and gathering place is now being built.”

Ms. Daniel continues: “This library will be a new service model and unlike anything we have in our library system. Part neighborhood library, part state-of-the-art technology hub, and home to our Pop-Up Library services, it will be a draw not just for West Side residents, but for the entire county.”

Ms. Daniel thanked the Michael Kusalaba family and the Youngstown Foundation for the generous donation. She expressed gratitude to Library Trustees, who have kept the system debt-free and been supportive of this branch library project. She thanked local officials and the residents of the West Side, “who took the time to talk with us, were always civil in their discourse and who showed true passion for their neighborhood and their library.” She added, “It is all of us working together that brings us here to break ground today.”

The West Library closed April 30 in preparation for the construction of the new Michael Kusalaba Branch on that same site.

Project Architect: Faniro Architects.

General Contracting: Brock Builders, Inc., 11201 South Ave., North Lima, OH

Plumbing: Acme Bros. Plumbing Contractors Co., 40834 Bonesville School Rd., Leetonia, OH

Mechanical: D&G Mechanical, Inc., PO Box 231, West Middlesex, PA

Electrical: JR Warren Electrical Contracting, Inc., 839 E. Lutton St., New Castle, PA

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For architect’s renderings and information:

*Please Note: Spellings are correct in this release: Michael Kusalaba and Ray Kucalaba.