The Dayton Metro Library’s oldest branch closed on Monday, but it reopens today at a temporary home, located a few blocks away.
The E.C. Doren Branch at 701 Troy St. has moved to 359 Maryland Ave., the former fire station and site of the old Northeast Priority Board, officials said.
The estimated one-year relocation is necessary so construction can begin to renovate the historic building and create a new meeting room, an additional restroom, more defined reading sections, a stage for children’s activities and an outdoor reading area, officials said.
Library services will remain the same at the temporary facility, but the collection of materials will be limited because of space.
“People can always reserve a book anywhere within the system and pick it up at the branch of their choosing,” said Jayne Klose, the Dayton library’s community engagement manager. “People will still be able to access anything they want, there will just be a few less (materials) right there to put their hands on and browse through.”
The Dayton Metro Library is spending about $1.3 million to renovate the E.C. Doren Branch, which first opened in 1928. It is part of a $187 million project that will decrease the system’s library branches from 21 to 17, including the main branch downtown.
The historic building will be renovated, its connectivity and technology will be upgraded and its mechanical systems will be moved to the basement, making room for defined sections for adults, teens and children, officials said.
“We will repair a building that needs repaired and we have some structural issues,” said Chuck Duritsch, a spokesman for the library. “We will improve the look while keeping the historic aesthetics.”
New shelving will be installed that can be moved when needed to accommodate special programming. E.C. Doren will get a new meeting room, because it is the only branch in the library system that lacks one. A second public restroom will be installed, and so will a stage for the children’s area. Crews will build an outdoor, walled-in garden so patrons can read outside.
For roughly the next year, the branch will operate out of a property the library is leasing from the city of Dayton.
The library is building 11 new branches, and most existing branches will remain open until the new facilities are complete.
But the library also is renovating and expanding five branches, including the Kettering Moraine Branch, the Miamisburg Branch, the West Carrollton Branch and the Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Klose said.
Library officials said they do not want to disrupt library services in those areas, but may have to consolidate certain branches or move them into temporary facilities while construction and renovation takes place.
“We will have to do that on a case-by-case basis,” Klose said.