Sunday, Mar 26, 2017
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Education

Sylvania residents can weigh in on library

Community members can weigh in on design plans for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Sylvania branch’s upcoming expansion at a public hearing today.

Officials from the library and from Cleveland-based HBM Architects will present updated renderings on what the new, modernized building will look like and take questions and comments from the audience.

The 18,500-square-foot Monroe Street building was constructed in the 1950s and has not had a major update since 1989. Plans to overhaul the library began in 2014 but were put on hold because finding a temporary space to house the library’s materials while serving patrons would have been costly, library officials previously said.

Now that the new King Road library is open, patrons will have a nearby alternative for the 10-12 months the Sylvania branch is slated to be closed for renovations.

The $5 million to $6 million plan involves expanding the building’s footprint, so library officials have asked Sylvania’s city council to amend the building’s special-use permit to allow for the extra space. Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough expects council members will vote on the library’s request at its monthly meeting scheduled just after Monday’s public hearing.

“They have to decide whether it’s appropriate to allow a larger building on the site,” he said.

Sylvania’s Planning Commission has already recommended approval, Mayor Stough added.

Design plans call for modernizing the look and technology of the dated library, which already offers more resources than books alone.

Charlie Oswanski, the library system’s superintendent of facilities and operations, said after a January public meeting about the project that many residents requested the design complement the feel of the city’s brick municipal buildings nearby. Some were wary the building would share the ultra-modern look of the new King Road branch.

Library officials want to bid the project this summer and expects the remodel will be complete in the summer or fall of 2018.

Today’s public hearing begins at 7 p.m. in city council chambers, followed by the council’s regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Sarah Elms at: selms@theblade.com or 419-724-6103 or on Twitter @BySarahElms.

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