Columbus Library breaks ground on new Martin Luther King Branch


COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has broken ground on its new Martin Luther King Branch.

Groundbreakers include:

  • Kathleen Bailey, Chair, Near East Area Commission
  • Trudy Bartley, Associate Vice President for Community Relations, The Ohio State University
  • Carzel Betton, VolunTeen, Martin Luther King Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Lela Boykin, Commissioner, Near East Area Commission
  • The Honorable Mitchell Brown, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Katie Chatas, community volunteer
  • Erika Clark Jones, Member, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • Tom Dillard, community volunteer
  • Keisha Gibbs, Manager, Martin Luther King Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • The Honorable Andrew Ginther, Mayor, City of Columbus
  • Dr. Dan Good, Superintendent, Columbus City Schools
  • Mary Jo Green, community volunteer
  • Jennifer Hadden, Member, Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Board
  • The Honorable Shannon Hardin, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Stephanie Hightower, President & CEO, Columbus Urban League
  • Charles Hillman, President & CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Cindy Hilsheimer, Managing Principal, BeecherHill
  • Larry James, Managing Partner, Crabbe Brown & James
  • Sandra Jamison, community volunteer
  • The Honorable Bernadine Kennedy Kent, State Representative
  • Doug Kridler, Chief Executive Officer, The Columbus Foundation
  • The Honorable David Leland, State Representative, District 22
  • Patrick Losinski, Chief Executive Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Jordan Miller, Secretary, Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Board
  • Ray Miller, Publisher, Columbus African American News Journal
  • Jonathan Moody, President, Architectural Designer, Moody Nolan
  • Curt Moody, Chief Executive Officer, Moody Nolan
  • Brian Mooney, Vice President & General Manager, Turner Construction
  • Shannon Morgan, Vice President, PNC Foundation
  • The Honorable Jaiza Page, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Frederick Ransier, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  • Charles Richardson, Principal, East High School
  • Elizabeth Seely, Executive Director, University Hospital East
  • Renée Shumate, Manager, External Affairs, American Electric Power
  • Reita Smith, Poindexter Foundation
  • The Honorable Michael Stinziano, Member, Columbus City Council
  • The Honorable Priscilla Tyson, President Pro Tempore, Columbus City Council
  • Robert Weilbacher, Office of U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty
  • Catherine Willis, Founder and Director, Urban Strings Columbus
  • Ellen and Edward Yen, community volunteers

The current Martin Luther King Branch is one of the smallest locations in CML’s 23-library system with 8,933 square feet of space. The new branch, which will be located two blocks to the west, will be roughly 18,000 square feet.

On Dec. 8, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly approved the sale of Ohio State University land at the southwest corner of Long Street and Taylor Avenue to CML for the site of the new Martin Luther King Branch. The dedication of the new branch is expected to take place in 2018.

“At nearly 50 years old, the Martin Luther King Branch is the oldest location in our system,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “A larger and more visible 21st Century library will be much better equipped to meet the changing needs of this growing and diverse Near East Side community.”

The Martin Luther King Branch project is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program:

  • The new Driving Park Branch opened July 12, 2014
  • The new Whitehall Branch opened April 11, 2015
  • The new Parsons Branch opened June 4, 2016
  • The transformed Main Library opened June 25, 2016
  • The new Northern Lights Branch opened Sept. 24, 2016
  • The new Shepard Branch opened Oct. 13, 2016
  • The new Northside Branch opened June 22, 2017
  • Planning is underway for a new Hilliard Branch
  • Planning is underway for a new Dublin Branch

CML hopes to have all 10 projects completed by 2020. CML understands that great libraries create stronger communities, and each branch is an essential hub that reflects the unique needs of the neighborhood it serves. Some of CML’s 23 locations are 40 to 50 years old and inadequate to meet the demands of a growing 21st century community. Demands and expectations will continue to grow, along with the population of Franklin County.

CML’s aspirational building program is the result of a community-wide process that will continue to serve the needs of Franklin County well into the future. The plan is a multi-phased comprehensive blueprint that reinvents and revitalizes the entire 600,000 square feet maintained by the library.

In addition to being a vital community asset, Columbus Metropolitan Library strives to minimize its environmental footprint. With each new building or renovation project, CML plans to use sustainable building materials, incorporate glass for natural light to reduce energy costs and introduce other design and building elements friendly to the natural environment.

Phase one of CML’s aspirational building program is transforming and significantly upgrading seven urban branches (Driving Park, Whitehall, Parsons, Martin Luther King, Northside, Northern Lights, Shepard) and two suburban branches (Hilliard and Dublin). In addition, changes to Main Library represent a major investment in downtown Columbus and the Discovery District.

Visit for more information and to track progress of CML’s ambitious building program.

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