Virtual groundbreaking kicks off renovation plans at Youngstown main library

Local News

Renovations on the existing building are expected to start in late fall

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Renovation plans kicked off at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County’s main campus with a virtual groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning.

The ceremony was live-streamed from the front lawn of the library at 11:30 a.m. They are planning work to start at the library on Monday.

Since opening in 1910, the library has undergone two substantial renovations.

In 1954, the front stairs and period lamp posts were removed from the front of the building. In 1996, a large addition was made to the building and the entrance was moved to the side.

Now, the design team is working to remember the library’s history while still meeting modern community needs.

“With a building project like this, the challenge is always about how to honor the past while making a statement about the future,” said library executive director Aimee Fifarek.

So, the plan is to also bring back some historical features.

“We’re going to bring back some of the great historical renovations that have been lost through previous renovations — the historical stairs, the skylight,” Fifarek said.

Next week will kick off phase one of three of the renovation project, including construction of the new northeast parking lot as well as electrical, water, sewer and gas utilities.

The phase also includes work on an underground stormwater detention basin, demolition of the existing maintenance garage, new lighting and renovations to sidewalks and landscaping.

Renovations on the existing building as part of phase two are expected to start in late fall, and the building addition will kick off in the spring of 2021 for phase three.

The first floor will have a new children’s area, and reading rooms and more space throughout the library will be added on.

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