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.
Q: Where would the Library be built in Metzger Park?
The final site layout for Metzger Park, shown above, 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 above. 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 City of Louisville working together on the Metzger Park project?
The Library and City are negotiating to exchange the property and building at 504 East Main Street, more commonly known as the "green space" and Discovery Center, for a 99-year lease at Metzger Park on which to build a new Library facility. In this exchange, the Library would 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.
If approved, the proposed property exchange would keep the Library's Sensory Space open in the Discovery Center until the new Library building is completed; the Sensory Space would 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: 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. And leveraging the location and resources of the City and park are good for the Library.
Q: How are we going to pay for it?
The Library is committed to NOT asking for a levy. As the Library has been trying to build over the years, we have saved money and we are investigating borrowing 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.
With the property exchange, the Library seeks to exchange the land and building at 504 East Main Street, more commonly known as the "green space" and Discovery Center, for a 99-year lease at Metzger Park to be used for a new Library facility. In this exchange, the Library would 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.. This agreement allows the Library to focus all of our money and efforts on the building itself, and significantly reduces the cost of this project.
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 can't use the facility's second floor.
Plus, we would love to have all of our staff and facilities in one place, which would lessen the confusion over where programs are held, and make it easier for folks 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.
What other questions do you have? Call Director Brock Hutchison at 330.587.5755.