Decade-long library building project down to last two

Dayton Metro Library spends nearly $200 million, most from levy

The Dayton Metro Library opened the new Burkhardt Branch this week, which leaves only two more branches to finish a massive overhaul of the library system’s facilities that voters made possible a decade ago.

The Dayton Metro Library is now about a year away from completing $197 million worth of projects to expand and renovate four branch libraries and build 13 new library facilities.

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Local artist, Deborah Dixon fields questions about her sculpture that hangs in the newly opened Burkhardt Branch Library Monday April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Local artist, Deborah Dixon fields questions about her sculpture that hangs in the newly opened Burkhardt Branch Library Monday April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

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Local artist, Deborah Dixon fields questions about her sculpture that hangs in the newly opened Burkhardt Branch Library Monday April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

The new buildings are beautiful and cutting-edge and provide services that impact lives, economic development and the success of local children and their families, said Jeffrey Trzeciak, executive director of the Dayton Metro Library

“The project, made possible by our voters, truly embodies community collaboration,” Trzeciak said at the opening of the Burkhardt Branch.

On Monday morning, the Burkhardt Branch at 4704 Burkhardt Ave. in Dayton had a “soft opening” following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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The Burkhardt Branch Library opened Monday morning April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

The Burkhardt Branch Library opened Monday morning April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

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The Burkhardt Branch Library opened Monday morning April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

A larger community celebration will be held at the new branch after the old library building across the street is torn down to create dedicated parking, Trzeciak said.

The $9.6 million Burkhardt Branch is the 15th new or renovated library facility the Dayton Metro Library has opened or reopened as part of its facilities improvement plan.

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A Wright Brothers plane replica is a part of the new Burkhardt Branch Library that opened on Monday April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

A Wright Brothers plane replica is a part of the new Burkhardt Branch Library that opened on Monday April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

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A Wright Brothers plane replica is a part of the new Burkhardt Branch Library that opened on Monday April 25, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Just two more branch projects remain: Construction began in September on the new $9.8 million Northmont Branch, and site work has started on the new $11 million Huber Heights Branch.

The Northmont Branch is slated to open in November, while the branch in Huber Heights is expected to open in the spring of 2023.

Funding for the facilities improvements comes from a $187 million bond measure that Montgomery County voters approved in 2012.

The Dayton Metro Library at that time had 20 library facilities, but it decided to consolidate some branches, shrinking its system to 17, which are larger buildings with more amenities.

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The new Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch has opened. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The new Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch has opened. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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The new Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch has opened. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

After the bond measure passed, the library broke ground on its first facilities projects in 2014.

Upgraded Electra C. Doren and the Miami Twp. branches reopened in 2015, and the library system opened five new or refreshed facilities in 2016; two in 2017; one in 2018; two in 2019; one in 2020; and two this year.

Facilities project costs are coming in as planned, Trzeciak said, and the budget was broken into four segments to ensure funds would be available to make the final branches as high quality as the first that were completed.

The budget took inflation and contingencies into account, Trzeciak said, and thorough budget “recalibrations” took place after each segment to ensure spending remained on track.

The Dayton Metro Library’s total investment exceeds the approved bond amount by about $10 million. The additional $10 million came from pre-existing building and repair funds, plus interest, and donations. Some of that money went toward site acquisition, remediation expenses and other needs, Trzeciak said.

Also, Trzeciak said, the library refinanced its bonds when interest rates were low, which will save taxpayers more than $19 million in debt service costs over the lifetime of the bonds, which expire in 2038.

The facilities upgrades ensure that important library services and resources are up-to-date and the community can rely on them for a long time to come, said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge.

“Our residents share the belief that libraries are essential and a gateway to knowledge,” Dodge said.

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The Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch is now open. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch is now open. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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The Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch is now open. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Libraries are community hubs where people from diverse backgrounds interact, and they are vital for community members who lack reliable internet access or smart phones, State Rep. Willis Blackshear (D-Dayton) said during Monday’s ribbon-cutting event.


Dayton Metro Library project

Renovated (1)

Electra C Doren, Dayton

Renovated and expanded (3)

Miami Twp

Kettering-Moraine

West Carrollton

Brand new buildings (13)

Northwest (Dayton)

New Lebanon

Brookville

Vandalia

Miamisburg

Main library (Dayton)

Wilmington-Stroop (Kettering)

Southeast (Dayton)

Trotwood

West (Dayton)

Burkhardt (Dayton)

Northmont*

Huber Heights*

* — Not yet open

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