With shovels in hand, Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville Free Public Library Director Jim Blanton, Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, the Library Foundation, and members of the community officially broke ground on the new 40,000-square-foot Northeast Regional Library located on Bellevoir Circle off Ormsby Station Road near the Northeast YMCA.
The Northeast Regional Library is similar in size and scope to the recently built Southwest and South Central Regional libraries and is the final of three regional libraries included in the Louisville Free Public Library’s Master Facilities Plan. Replacing the much-smaller Westport branch (located in Westport Middle School), the Northeast Regional Library will enhance service for more than 170,000 people in eastern Jefferson County.
Library patrons in the Northeast service area checked out more than 1 million books and other materials in the last fiscal year —representing nearly 25 percent of the library system’s total annual circulation. And of the 170,000 residents of this service area, 40 percent are active library cardholders. Despite this tremendous use, the northeast region of Jefferson County falls well below state library standards. The new Northeast Regional Library will more than double the area’s square footage per person.
The state-of-the-art building will feature an expanded collection, including more bestsellers, DVDs, large type, and books for children and teens and the latest technologies. The design will include comfortable, quiet spaces for reading and studying, several meeting rooms, an auditorium, a large children’s area, and a separate teen space. New to LFPL, the Northeast Regional also will feature an innovative, hands-on “makerspace” with audio/visual lab and demonstration kitchen, plus outdoor teaching and programming space.
All aspects of the building’s design have been planned to incorporate advanced, eco-friendly technologies and architectural design to save energy, reduce waste, and improve quality of life.
In addition, LFPL is committed to preserving the scenic beauty of the site and to minimize environmental impact. The landscape plan will include adding more trees, walking paths, and usable outdoor spaces to take advantage of the site’s park-like setting.
Construction of the Northeast Regional Library is to be completed in early 2019.