In 2019, the library surveyed Louisville and Nimishillen Township residents. One question asked, “How important is a high-quality public library to the attractiveness of a community?" The vast majority of respondents, 87%, indicated that a library was either very important or somewhat important to the attractiveness of a community.
Exterior rendering of the new library at Metzger Park
Q: Why build a new library in Metzger Park?
To begin, we looked at options all around Louisville and determined that Metzger Park would be an optimal location because of the ability to share resources with the city, as well as provide library services near the park, the YMCA, and the schools. For example, if the city is already planning to build a parking lot there, could the library be built near the parking lot to eliminate the need and cost to build that on our own?
We also looked at the success of the Jackson Township and Perry-Sippo Libraries, both of which are built in parks. The possibilities really are outstanding -- imagine nature programs, birding, summer programs on the amphitheater, the library within walking distance of the schools and YMCA, and bikes, disc golf equipment, and ice skates that could all be borrowed from the library and used in the park.
A new library, designed to blend into the natural landscape of the park, becomes an asset to Metzger Park.
Q: What is the inspiration for the design of the building?
The building design draws inspiration from the land on which it will be built. Board and batten vinyl siding will adorn the 10,000 sq. ft. structure with a metal roof atop. The front stone facade will match the popular stone wall in the park that still remains from the former Metzger Farm.
The library will blend into the natural prairie landscape of the park, while paying homage to the former agricultural use of the property. Several natural garden areas will transition from the more manicured areas of the library to the wide-open prairie ecosystem of the park. All of these areas will provide opportunities for programs and library services.
An aerial image of the Metzger Farm that existed on the property, prior to becoming a park
Q: Where will the library be built in Metzger Park?
The final site layout for Metzger Park, shown below, locates the library along the western edge of the park, 150 feet off of Nickelplate Avenue. The library site is in red in the site layout below. This site was chosen because it is relatively flat, which makes it easier and therefore less expensive to build on; there is ready access to existing utilities; and the site is adjacent to the parking lot, which the city had planned to build anyway. By locating the library in this spot, the library and city combine their resources for optimal value.
Q: How are the library and the City of Louisville working together on the Metzger Park project?
The library and city are finalizing an exchange of the property and building at 504 East Main Street, more commonly known as the “greenspace” and Discovery Center, for a 99-year lease at Metzger Park on which a new library facility will be constructed.
In this exchange, the library will also receive use of an approximately 150-space parking lot to be constructed by the city, as well as collaborating on the utilization of existing and previously planned infrastructure improvements in the park, such as storm water management and utilities.
The library's Sensory Space will remain open in the Discovery Center until the new library building is completed. The Sensory Space will then move to the new building. The Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the Louisville Public Library Book Sale will also remain in the Discovery Center.
Q: How is the library going to pay for it?
The library will NOT ask for a levy. As the library has been trying to build over the years, we have saved money and we will borrow the remaining amount. This is a commonly-used option for libraries that do not want to ask for a levy, and was recently used by the Stark Library during their most recent renovations.
The library is also undertaking a capital campaign to raise funds, which currently stands at over $520,000.
Finally, the agreement with the city allows the library to focus all of our money and efforts on the building itself, and significantly reduces the cost of this project.
Interior Rendering of the new library at Metzger Park
Q: Who is building the new library?
The library has hired Caplea Studio Architects and Fred Olivieri Construction Company.
Q: When will construction begin?
Our goal is to break ground in the Spring of 2024.
Q: Why not stay in the current building at 700 Lincoln Avenue?
The current building no longer fits the needs of a 21st century library. Just in the last few years, there have been electrical issues and roof leaks that shut down the Teen Department for months. The building is not fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, so some patrons are unable use the facility's second floor.
Plus, we would love to have all of our staff and facilities in one place. This would lessen the confusion over where programs are held, and make it easier for patrons attending programs to also pick out materials to check out and take home. Lastly, maintaining two old buildings has become not only inconvenient, but costly.