Thursday, April 20, 2000

Fairfield's new library 'overdue'

Will be jewel of Village Green redevelopment

BY Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD — When Mary Pat Essman envisions the new Lane Library, she sees opportunity to serve more of the community.

        “Right now, we just really don't have the opportunity. There's just not enough space,” said Ms. Essman, director of Fairfield Lane Library.

        The number of people who visit the library has risen each year, with about 250,000 patrons using the facility last year.

        City Council recently approved spending $4.3 million to build the 25,000-square-foot library, which will be more than triple the size of the current library in Fairfield.

        The total cost of the project is $4.8 million, including land and design costs. Of the $4.8 million, the city will pay $3.3 million and the library will pay $1.5 million.

        The library is an integral part of the Village Green area, which includes residential and senior housing, office and commercial space, and a city park, which will have an amphitheater and water features. The city also has an option on the site adjacent to the park to build a cultural/community center, which is in the planning stages.

        General contractor Wright-Seyferth Construction Inc. of Delhi Township will begin construction on the library in May, and it will take about one year to complete. The city has not determined how the old library, which opened in 1966, will be used.

        The new library will include the latest technology, a community room, more computers, an expanded magazine collection, additional room for book storage and a 50-foot, four-sided clock tower. The one-story, earth-tone brick building also will include an outside plaza, which will blend in with a planned $2 million adjacent park.

        Councilman Sterling Uhler said the new library is “long overdue.”

        “I think it is the theme-setter for the development (downtown),” he said.


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