LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Earlier this year, a budget halt on city construction projects put the Northeast Regional Library in jeopardy. Now, it’s set to open in just over a week and the staff there is certain it will be loved by the community.
The library’s June 24 opening follows the disappointment of closing the Middletown Library, which was housed in a rented property.
WAVE 3 News got a sneak peak of the new Northeast branch Friday and it is impressive. While the Middletown library was very popular and one of the top in circulation, the new branch is much bigger, brighter and it sits on city-owned property.
“It’s a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, modern facility,” Paul Burns, the Communications Director for the Louisville Free Public Library said.
Learning in a modern world is the hope for the Northeast Regional Library in Lyndon.
“The staff just started working here on Monday,” Northeast manager Rachel Smith said.
Work crews and more than a dozen library staffers are putting the last minute touches on Jefferson County’s third and final regional library.
The glass enclosed eco-friendly and energy efficient structure will not only house 120,000 books, along with computers, music and DVDs, but it aims to be interactive.
“When you come in the door, if the kids can’t wait to get to the children’s space, they can just jump down the slide and slide down and there they are,” Burns smiled, pointing to short ramp in the children’s section.
Kids may want to slide into one of many reading nooks in their section or head to the indoor/outdoor stacked seating for story time or music.
“This is one of our maker spaces here,” Burns said as he pointed to a new pavilion.
The new library has everything from laser cutters and audio visual labs with green screens, to an audio booth and a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes.
There are small and large meeting rooms and an area known as “the porch” for yoga classes. A Quills Coffee shop will open near the end of summer.
Smith said environmental education classes are a goal on the 13 acre campus. The treed landscape around the library includes the city’s historic Bellevoir Mansion.
“There’s a walking path and benches and WIFI out there -- so space to enjoy outside and inside,” Smith pointed out.
Smith said even though it’s bittersweet to open one library as others like Middletown close, she can’t wait for the community to see this one.
“I think we will be very busy and we are ready," she said.
About 16 Louisville Free Public Library employees will work at the new branch, which is located at 15 Bellevoir Circle.