Troy exploring plans for new library

TROY — The Troy Miami County Public Library board of trustees and supporters are ready to create a plan to raise money for a new library building that Troy officials were told “would blend in with the historic downtown while providing modern conveniences inside.”

The board has been exploring the expansion of the library for a few years looking at options including moving to a new location, adding to the current facility and building new at the same location.

In the end, it chose a new structure at the same 419 W. Main St., Troy, library site with added parking and the building set back from the street with more greenspace at the front. That configuration would reflect the layout of two historic properties to the library’s east, the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center and the Miami County Courthouse.

The plans were outlined Tuesday for the Troy Park Board, which has been asked to transfer ownership to the library of Brukner Park located behind the library’s current parking lot and next to West Water Street to the north.

LWC Inc. of Dayton is working with the library board on the facilities plan. The rough cost estimate is $15 million, said Rachelle Via, library director.

“This is a legacy building that will work for decades to come, similar to the Courthouse and the Hayner Cultural Center,” she said.

The current library was built in the 1970s. It covers 17,000 square feet with all space in use, often for multiple purposes, Via said.

Over the years, the library’s offerings and those using them have continued to grow.

“The need for additional space, in addition to making the space meet 21st century standards, is critical in order for us to meet community needs now and into the future,” Via said. Among offerings, in addition to books, are access to Internet, free programs for all ages, literacy-based activities, space for public meetings, educational toys and teacher collections, among others.

In addition to space, the board faces issues at the current library with an aging HVAC system, other structural issues and the need for security updates, Via said.

The library project was outlined for the park board in a memo by Martha Harris, library community services development senior manager. The planning process included community member focus groups to help determine needs.

“Library services have changed drastically since the building was completed in 1976. Libraries once were primarily a repository for books but now serve as community spaces for collaboration and learning,” Harris said.

The concept drawings show a three-story building, which she said would be “bright and airy with large exterior windows for natural sunlight and would blend in with the historic downtown while providing modern conveniences inside.”

The park board agreed to consider a memorandum of understanding that would cover the ownership transition as well as care of the park property during the transition. City Council also would need to approve the memorandum of understanding, Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director, said.

Park Board Chairman Alan Kappers said he thought the building concept looked nice and liked its position on the property.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

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