Published: Thursday, May 17, 2007
New South Side library will be 'beacon of light'
The public gave input into the design of the library, which will use almost three times the space of the current one.
YOUNGSTOWN The new South Library will serve as a "beacon of light" in both function and form, said library officials as they released the project's architectural plans today.
The $4.6-million renovation project at a former Giant Eagle and Phar-Mor store at the corner of Market Street and Midlothian Boulevard will begin this fall.
The building will literally be "taken apart and put back together," said Library Director Carlton Sears, before the new expanded library will emerge in spring 2008.
Sears commended architects for using light in an "exciting way."
"Walls of glass and rooftop monitors allow natural light to permeate the building's exterior," Sears said in a press release.
"When lit up at night, they will create a beacon that can be seen from the distance."
Much more space
The 24,500-square-foot structure will house meeting rooms, computers, expanded adults' and children's sections, an early-literacy area, a teen library and expanded audio/video collections.
It will use almost three times the library space of the current library, he said.
Many of the library's new features were the result of public input from meetings held during the project's planning phase.
"We took the suggestions seriously," Sears said. "Along with adults, we enlisted teens to give their input at a design meeting held specifically for them."
One suggestion prompted library officials to include a special area to house Baby Brilliant pre-literacy skills program, Sears said.
"We are excited about this new area," said Sears. "Studies have shown how important pre-literacy skills are when working with babies from birth to 5 years of age."
The South Library at 1771 Market St., near Eagle Heights Academy, is to remain in operation until the new branch is completed.