Louisville, Ky., – With shovels in hand, Mayor Greg Fischer and members of the community officially broke ground September 18, 2015 on the new South Central Regional Library located on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and McCawley Road in Okolona. The 40,000 square foot library will be similar to the recently opened Southwest Regional Library.
This state-of-the-art building will replace the considerably smaller Okolona branch library and will enhance service for more than 160,000 people in south central Jefferson County. Filled with new books and cutting edge technology, the library will be a place that encourages learning at all stages of life.
The total price tag for construction, books, computers and furnishings is estimated at $14.5 million, with $6 million coming from the state, $6 million in capital funds allocated by Mayor Fischer and approved by the Metro Council, and the additional $2.5 million to be raised from private donors.
In planning the new South Central Regional Library, we asked you about your community and what features you would most like to see. Citizens attended three community forums this past spring and completed online surveys to share their design ideas. Below is a summary of the suggestions and ideas:
Library design and construction:
- An iconic and modern exterior that will make us proud!
- “Green,” eco-friendly design with lots windows, natural light and trees
- Attractive landscaping including usable outdoor spaces
- Parking that is accessible, well-lit and easy to navigate
- Comfortable, inviting spaces with flexible seating
- Quiet areas to read and relax
- Multiple meeting room spaces including an auditorium and smaller, flexible rooms
- Interactive areas for learning and play for all ages
- Large, designated children’s space with a bigger area for storytime
- Separate teen area
- Thoughtful design for ease of use
Materials for the new collection:
- expanded materials collection including more bestsellers, DVDs, large type, materials in multiple languages, books for youth and graphic novels, to name just a few
- A local history collection
- A robust programming schedule including programs for
- Intergenerational audiences
- College bound
- Skill seekers
- Strong wi-fi and an abundance of electrical outlets
- State-of-the-art technology including self-service and more touch-screen computers
- Diverse, knowledgeable staff
- Increase the number of staff
- Hire staff who can assist youth with homework assignments
- Incorporate ideas that are representative of the community, the city, and the state
- A local neighborhood destination for learning, socializing, cultural development and growing as a community
The South Central Regional Library is the second of three regional libraries included in the Louisville Free Public Library’s Updated Master Facilities Plan, which was approved by the Metro Council in 2009. The Southwest Regional Library opened its doors on October 5. The third planned regional library is slated for northeast Jefferson County.