Library Trustees Discuss Renovation of Main Library
YOUNGSTOWN (September 14, 2018/For Immediate Release) – Library Executive Director Aimee Fifarek talked with the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County (PLYMC) about beginning a project to renovate Main Library when the Board met Thursday at the Michael Kusalaba Library.
At the meeting, Trustees approved Ms. Fifarek taking the next steps, which will focus on public input sessions with Library patrons and the community, Library staff, as well as Main Library’s neighbors, community partners and City officials. Ms. Fifarek anticipates asking the Board to vote to proceed with design at their December meeting. The input gathered from the community sessions will be a part of the design phase.
Ms. Fifarek shared with Trustees her vision for a renovated Main Library. Key components include restoring some of the historic elements eliminated in prior renovations and bring more natural light into the building; creating a large and flexible space for meetings, exhibits and events; creating a lab to digitize photographs, documents and other pieces of local history; an addition to house a children’s section; a makerspace; and parking improvements.
Main Library has undergone two major renovations in its 108 years. The building opened in 1910. A renovation in 1954 removed the front stairs and period lamp posts from the face of the building. The second renovation included a large addition to the building and the entrance was relocated to the side, off the parking lot. The renovated building was dedicated in 1996.
PLYMC is debt-free and pays for buildings without incurring debt. This project to renovate Main Library has been a part of the Strategic Plans for years and Trustees have saved for this project. The Library currently has $21 million designated for the renovation of Main Library, and at this early point in the planning, the Library can only estimate the cost.
On other topics, Ms. Fifarek reported that the Austintown Library repair work is underway and on schedule and the branch is expected to reopen on Monday, September 24. Repairs resulting in the break-in at Poland Library will be under $700; nothing was found missing. The Board of Trustees policy manual will be reviewed and updated.
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