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Published: Monday, 3/31/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

DESIGN IN WORKS

Architects have been chosen for new library

Sylvania branch looks to meet service demands

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Buehrer Group and HBM Architects have been chosen to design a new branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library planned for Sylvania.

The library board Thursday approved using Buehrer Group, a Maumee architecture and engineering firm, and Cleveland-based HBM Architects for the project.

The branch, which will be the county system’s 19th, will be built on land the library board purchased at King Road and Sylvania Avenue in 2012.

The branch has been talked about for years because of growth in Springfield and Sylvania townships and city of Sylvania, and patrons’ demand for services at the existing Holland and Sylvania branches, said Charles Oswanski, the library system’s superintendent of facilities and operations.

The new branch’s size remains undetermined, but the library is looking at something comparable to the Sanger and Heatherdowns branches, or about 20,000 square feet, Mr. Oswanski said.

In planning the branch, the architects will be asked to provide designs for garage space for vehicles used in outreach services, such as the bookmobile and early childhood reading programs, and a warehouse with climate-control features to store materials.

“We don’t know if we will do everything together or if we can phase it in. We will have to determine the costs and make a decision,” Mr. Oswanski said.

A meeting to gather public input about features desired in the new branch will take place in the next several months. The library system hopes to break ground for the new branch in spring 2015 and have it open to patrons 10 to 12 months later.

About seven acres have been acquired for the branch, including 5.4 acres the library purchased from the Sylvania City Schools in 2012 for $625,000. Two parcels contiguous to that property were added recently for $300,000 and $90,000.

The existing Sylvania branch at 6749 Monroe St. will be remodeled and enhanced with a small addition in a $2.5 million to $3 million project next year. If all goes according to plans, that work will begin in the fall with construction completed about a year later.

Mr. Oswanski said the downtown Sylvania branch will be closed during renovation, but the library is trying to find temporary space to set up a smaller library to provide some services.

Rhonda B. Sewell, a library spokesman, said the Sylvania branch has the highest circulation of materials among the system’s branches. Only the main library in downtown Toledo has more books and other materials borrowed by patrons, she said.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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