Date ArticleType
9/24/2020 General
Marion Public Library Breaks Ground Oct 1

City leaders and Chamber ambassadors will join friends, board members and staff of the Marion Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. to break ground on the community’s new library and kick-off the public fundraising campaign.

The event will take place outdoors at the Katz Lot, in the 1100 block of 6th Avenue in Uptown Marion. Parking is available in the current Marion Public Library lot, on 11th Street adjacent to City Square Park and along 6th Avenue. Social distancing will be practiced, and masks are strongly encouraged for those in attendance.

Since 2005, community leaders have been exploring what’s next for the Marion Public Library. The current facility opened in 1996 and was constructed based on 30-year population projections. Those projections were eclipsed 12 years later. In 2009, expansion of the library was identified as a community priority through the Imagine8 community visioning process.

While the project scope has changed a few times over the years, City leaders remain committed to the goals of preserving and increasing the community’s access to library and information services.

The library will be a community gathering space that is universally accessible and patrons are free to congregate, communicate, learn and socialize. The project includes the construction of a new 50,000 square foot building in the 1100 block of 6th Avenue, twice the size of existing library. It will feature a flexible, open floor plan with collaborative learning spaces and specialty areas such as a demonstration kitchen and recording studio. The exterior will blend into the historic Uptown Marion district and feature a reading terrace with biophilic features.

Bush Construction was selected as the construction manager for the project. Engberg Anderson Architects is serving as the project architect.

The $18 million facility will be supported by $5 million in Local Option Sales Tax funding, $3 million from the sale of the current site, $3.3 million in private donations, $1 million in tax increment and $6 million in bonding.

The facility is expected to open in March 2022.