Nearly one year after construction began, the Dayton Metro Library on Friday celebrated the grand opening of its new Huber Heights Branch, the capstone of its 10-year Libraries for a Smarter Future initiative.
“I think bittersweet is the best way to describe the feeling,” said Dayton Metro Library Executive Director Jeffrey Trzeciak. “I don’t know anywhere else in the U.S. where something like this has been accomplished ... we’re all very proud.”
The 27,000-square-foot Huber Heights Branch, which is the second-largest branch in the Dayton Metro Library system next to the Northwest branch, is the last structure to be built with money from a $187 million bond levy passed by voters in 2012.
Voters approved the bond issue with a 62% majority, an outcome Jayne Klose, community engagement manager for the library system, attributes to the significant role libraries play in cultivating thriving communities.
“Libraries are so important and they do so much good for a community,” Klose said Friday.
Klose, who has worked for the Dayton Metro Library system throughout the entirety of the library upgrade project, also spearheaded the bond issue campaign as part of the group Citizens for Good Libraries.
Her work was recognized during Friday’s ceremony, as Trzeciak presented a plaque dedicating the new branch’s light-filled grand entrance in her honor.
“Jayne Klose was instrumental in both the passing of the construction bond and the construction of all the library buildings throughout the system,” Trzeciak said.
“The Dayton Metro Library dedicates this space in honor of Jayne Klose,” the plaque reads. “Her insistence on excellence and access for all have had a profound impact on library patrons across the county and an impact that will continue for generations yet to come.”
The open-space entrance area, designated the Jayne Klose Cultural Commons was designed to host music, dance, theater, and other celebrations of local culture, Trzeciak said.
“This has been a total team effort,” Klose said. “So many details go into designing, building, planning, and then activating these spaces ... to be part of a legacy that is making libraries that will be strong for 50 or 75 years; it’s just a tremendous honor.
The Huber Heights Branch is one piece of a construction boom around the former Marian Meadows shopping center just north of Fishburg Road. A new senior center and a $40 million housing development are both in the works around that property.
The branch offers a variety of meeting rooms and program spaces, including a large community room with both before- and after-hours access, Trzeciak said, along with a conference room, seven study rooms, an enclosed quiet reading room, a children’s area, dedicated teen space, and space for “casual gatherings.”
The Dayton Metro Library system consists of the main library on East Third Street in downtown Dayton and 16 branches, including the Huber Heights Branch.