Public Library unveils design for new Canfield branch

Exterior of the new Canfield Library. Image courtesy of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

Exterior of the new Canfield Library. Image courtesy of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County unveiled the design and floor plan for the new Canfield Library to the public on Thursday, Jan. 23, in the auditorium of the Ursuline Center, 4280 Shields Road.

Library Executive Director Heidi M. Daniel and architect Ronald Cornell Faniro, of Faniro Architects Inc., of Youngstown, presented the plans to those in attendance.

Plans have been in the works for several years for the new library branch, which will be located on the same site as the current Canfield Library. The new library branch will be constructed at the current site, 43 W. Main St., and the current library building will be demolished.

The new Canfield Library will be 18,135 square feet. The current branch, built in 1969, is 5,104 square feet. Cost of the building project, including construction, furnishings, landscaping, site work, and more, is estimated at $4.9 million.

If all goes according to schedule, the Library expects to break ground on this project in late summer or early fall this year.

Daniel pointed out that the Canfield Library project has been in the works for over a decade and the Library Board of Trustees has been saving money for this project. The Library operates debt-free and pays for projects without bond issues or loans, which are costly.

“We are very excited about this design and feel it will blend in well with the community and the library’s surroundings. We asked for the community’s thoughts in many community conversations which have taken place over the past several years and are pleased that we were able to say ‘yes’ to much of the input we received. We wanted to capture what was most important to the community and I believe this design does just that,” Daniel said.

“The community was interested in having a place to gather and in the library branch being connected to the community. To that end, this new design includes a multi-purpose meeting room, a community living room area, and an adult area small meeting room,” she noted, “as well as a site plan that should assist with supporting activities and businesses near the community green.”

“I drove around neighborhoods to acquaint myself with the community and made observations to inspire the design,” said Faniro. “We went to great lengths to present a face on Main Street that would blend in with the current scale of the existing streetscape, and to create a building with character and with spaces that could be used in different ways for both the Library and the community-at-large.”

“Additionally, we became aware that the community’s expectations were rooted in a building that reflected the modern reality of library use. Libraries today are much more than warehouses for books and reading materials. They are community gathering spaces and are important to a community’s civic pride, which we have reflected in the design,” Faniro said.

“We took a broader look at what the new Canfield Library’s role would be in the community and developed ways to energize the site and to connect it with the Canfield Green. We suspect that establishing the Library as an extension to the center of Canfield and its public green will both increase usage of the Library and enhance the many things offered on and around the green. I think this energizes the Library site and will enhance the desirability of having a business located fronting the green.”

Faniro reminded the audience that the colors used in these renderings are subject to change and were added to the drawings to accentuate the architecture.

The Library will also have a capital campaign in conjunction with this project. The goal is $500,000.

© 2014 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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