WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – An expansion project at the main branch of the Warren-Trumbull Public Library will temporarily close the library in March.

Voters in Trumbull County passed a levy back in the fall of 2019 to pay for an expansion to their main library. Now, the shovels are just about ready to break ground on the project that was announced back in February 2020.

The expansion project at the facility on Mahoning Avenue NW was postponed because of the pandemic.

“We went out and asked the voters to help support us with an ongoing levy. They were very generous to us. We finished the plans and were ready to go last summer when COVID hit,” said Library Director Jim Wilkins.

The library has been in downtown Warren for over 100 years and wanted to expand in its current location.

“We’ve been an anchor of downtown Warren since the first Carnegie building went up in 1906, so we’ve been around for a while,” Wilkins said.

A 14,800 square-foot addition is planned for the south side of the building, increasing the library’s size by 25%.

The majority of the space will be used to expand the children’s department and teen area. Wilkins says the library wants to help young people learn better and read more, so the expansion will more than triple these areas.

“We talked about how can we expand the library mostly for children and teens because those two areas of our library at the Warren location are very, very small,” Wilkins said.

The library thought about using the second floor but it didn’t have the space they needed.

“We weren’t sure really that the second floor would support that. We really looked at it from all different angles and thought the best solution would be is if we could have it all on one floor,” Wilkins said.

Meeting space will also be increased to include nine additional areas, which will accommodate between two and 120 people.

Sections of the rest of the building will also be renovated.

Wilkins asks the public for patience over the next 18 to 24 months.

Tentative plans call for the library to be closed to the public from March 14-27 while some sections of the library are moved or rearranged in preparation for the construction. The library will then stay open during construction, which is set to begin in late March or early April.

Wilkins also looks forward to being able to better serve the public when everything is finished.

“We’re going to upgrade what we can do with the spaces we have available, and we’re just looking to keep serving the people of Trumbull County,” Wilkins said.

No library materials will be due during the closure, but people can still return items to outside book/media drop-offs.

All other W-TCPL locations will remain open during the Warren shutdown.