Warren-Trumbull County Library Plans $8M Expansion

WARREN, Ohio – The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library is planning an estimated $8 million expansion to the Warren Library.

The library’s board of trustees announced Tuesday that it is developing plans for a 14,800-square-foot, one-story addition to be built onto the south side of the branch, located at 444 Mahoning Ave. N.W. The addition will increase the building’s size to some 72,000 square feet up from 58,029, an increase of about 25%.

“The library board of trustees began discussing the need for an addition several years ago as there was a growing need for more space in the Children’s Department and the Teen Area,” said Jim Wilkins, director. “Providing materials and services for children and teens is an important part of the library’s mission.” 

The board began discussing the need for an addition to the Warren Library as early as 2015, but plans were put on hold until November 2019, when voters showed their support of the library by passing a 0.4 mill library levy.

“We greatly appreciated that vote of confidence in the library as it will help provide a sustainable revenue stream for the future,” Michael McGee, library board president, said in a news release announcing the project. “We are pleased that we are now able to move forward with this building project for our community.”

The addition will provide more space to house the library’s collection of books, videos, audio books and other materials for children and teens, as well as for ongoing programming such as preschool storytimes and special events such as the summer reading and learning program. The library offers a robust schedule of free events for all ages, Wilkins said. 

The library will issue municipal bonds to finance the building project, McGee said. The board is working with Baker Bednar Snyder & Associates Inc., a Warren-based architecture firm, to develop plans.

The project also will include upgrades to the infrastructure for the computer system that supports all branches of the library. The library is continually adapting in order to serve the changing needs of the Trumbull County community, Wilkins said.

“People’s expectations of the library today have changed as technology has changed,” he said. “People are looking for access to books and movies and music in multiple formats, and they are also looking for dynamic places to study and learn and to work and relax. The library must invest in facilities that will offer safe inviting spaces for our communities to thrive.”

The library will also increase its number of public meeting rooms to 15 from three, with various sized rooms to accommodate from two to 120 people. That will provide small rooms for individuals studying or small group projects and larger spaces for group meetings. In 2019, the library had 2,346 bookings for its meeting rooms for both library and community use across all locations. 

“We know library customers in Warren and from all around Trumbull County will enjoy the increased opportunities for studying, meeting, and learning that this addition and renovation will provide,” Wilkins said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.