A final design for the new Middleburg Heights branch library has been completed.

“The final design and architectural renderings have the potential of making the Middleburg Heights library award winning,” said Mayor Gary Starr in an interview. “We are not just building a new library, but we are fulfilling our promise, as part of our master plan, to build a new central public park with the library as our cornerstone.”

It will be located on Middleburg Heights Commons at Bagley Road and Interstate 71. The current facility at 15600 Bagley Road near Big Creek Parkway was built in 1969 and renovated in 1997.

“The new library and site plan express a strong relationship to the existing city hall buildings and grounds,” Starr explained. “Residents will be as proud of the new library as they are of our community center because of the creative brick design on the building, the stone columns and extensive amount of glass.”

Minor changes to the design since its last iteration, Starr indicated, include moving the driveway entrance to preserve existing trees, implementing a passenger drop-off area in front of the library’s entry doors and moving staff parking and a water detention basin to enable additional future parking spaces. The building’s groundbreaking will occur in April 2017, with anticipated completion slated for February 2018.

Future uses for the current library building are being considered, including Councilman-at-Large Ray Guttmann’s suggestion for a possible senior center. Based on a report commissioned by the Cuyahoga County Public Library system, however, Starr said the building “needs a considerable amount of renovation and repairs … to electrical, plumbing, ADA (Americans with Disabilities compliance), parking and storm water (EPA compliance).” A preliminary estimate for those improvements is $1 million.

“A senior center at the existing library should be open for public discussion,” he said. “At the present time, we have held discussions with our administrative staff, geriatric care specialists and senior residents to develop a plan for the future. If we can save that building and utilize it, it would be appropriate to at least discuss it among city council, the staff here and residents of the community.”

He went on to say it’s possible the building could be used as a classroom for continuing education a few days a week.

“We continue to evaluate the programs and facilities,” Starr said.

The original article by Beth Mlady on can be found here.