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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 7/30/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

A bigger, more high-tech Mott library gets OK

Construction to start by 2017

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo City Council cleared the way Tuesday for a new Mott Branch library to be built along the Dorr Street corridor, a $5 million to $6 million project the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library expects to start in 2016 or 2017 across the street from the existing 42-year-old facility.

The library is to be built on three acres on the north side of Dorr in Toledo’s Smith Park, next to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary at Dorr and Forest Avenue. The location will allow many youth to visit the library without crossing Dorr, a high-traffic thoroughfare.

The new library will provide twice the parking, 50 percent more interior space, and about three times the computers and other digital technology, Charles Oswanski, the library superintendent of facilities and operations, said.

The plan was approved 9-2, with Councilmen Mike Craig absent. Councilmen Jack Ford and Theresa Gabriel voted in opposition, citing concerns about possible impacts on a youth football league and other recreation programs at the park. Other councilmen said the park has ample room to move those programs.

“I personally believe an expansion of Mott Library will provide a net gain to that neighborhood,” Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson said.

The deal calls for the city to donate the land to the library system in exchange for the existing Mott library at 1085 Dorr, on the south side of the street.

The city is expected to rent out the existing library. The library system has outgrown it because of the demand for more digital technology. Several branch libraries, especially Mott, are becoming increasingly popular as neighborhood meeting centers, Mr. Oswanski said.

The project will be similar to an expansion of the Kent branch, which went from having 30 computers to 100 computers, he said.

The new Mott’s interior will be about 15,000 square feet, up from the 10,300 square feet of the existing library, which was built in 1972 and last renovated in 1997.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com or 419-724-6079.



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