Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Library moving forward with Clifton, Reading, St. Bernard branches

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is moving forward with new branches for Clifton, Reading, and St. Bernard.

The library has issued a request for qualifications (RFQs) for design services for the three projects, each valued at approximately $3.5 million.

The Clifton branch is moving from 351 Ludlow Avenue to a 10,000-square-foot space in Parkview Manor, a mansion built in 1895 at 3400 Brookline Avenue for George Barnsdale "Boss" Cox and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The current branch opened in 1954 in a space formerly occupied by a barber and beauty shop. The library was remodeled in 1971 and expanded into an adjacent storefront in 2003, but, at 2,520 square feet, is still far too small to serve the neighborhood's needs.

The new space will accommodate an increased collection, a dedicated children's room, teen area, programming space, meeting rooms, and a computer lab, as well as 16 spaces of dedicated parking.

Additionally, a new 12,000-square-foot facility will be built in Reading, and a new 8,000-square-foot facility will be built in St. Bernard. Since 2000, the Reading branch has occupied 2,520 square feet in a building constructed in 1929; The St. Bernard branch has occupied approximately 2,000 square feet in the city's municipal center since 1970.

No sites have been announced for the Reading or St. Bernard branches.

RFQs are due by March 1 at 4 P.M. Construction of all three projects is expected to begin in March 2014.