Editor’s note: The following column is an excerpt from Ed Worso’s cover story in the forthcoming Fall 2018 issue of Lines & Links, scheduled to be mailed in late August.
We are rolling right along renovating existing facilities and building two new branches in Bainbridge and Thompson. The design firm, CBLH and its partner Perkins + Will, have been hired to design the new space and lead us through the process of renovations. We have engaged the services of Donley’s as the construction manager at risk to handle production for all new buildings and renovations. Several project leaders on the Donley’s team live in Geauga County and are our neighbors. The library board and administration have worked hard to get us to this place, but the real work is about to begin. And, we are asking for your help in making it happen.
#GCPLBuilds for you
What kinds of programs do you like in your library? Are there ideas you have or that you have seen elsewhere that might be successful here in Geauga County? We want to hear from you.
GCPL new facilities and renovations community conversations
In mid-June, we held information-gathering sessions related to the new buildings in Bainbridge and Thompson. The first of two sessions at Bainbridge involved conversation and feedback from the teen community. Middle and high-school students from Kenston joined us for a lively 90-minute discussion. Their enthusiasm and ideas knocked the socks off the design team. That was immediately followed by a session with adults that was facilitated by Perkins + Will architects Derek and Catherine, with help from CBLH and library staff. They led the participants through a series of thought exercises aimed to discover how patrons use the library and how they would like to see a new library used. The same exercises took place the very next evening with about 30 residents of the Thompson service district at Thompson Township Hall on the Square. To keep the ideas flowing, another round of talks took place in July. Further conversations are likely to be scheduled.
Ideas spanned a wide range of possibilities. Some of the initial wish list items include: buildings that are easily visible from the road, dedicated study areas, more electrical outlets, large-format printing capability, rooms for group activities, outdoor reading areas, yoga classes, space to showcase local art, and more.
We all are heartened by the response from the community and look forward to co-creating buildings that engage, connect and inspire our citizens. Thank you for all your insights. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.