INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Preliminary approval has been given by the Indianapolis Public Library Board to close the Fountain Square Branch in May 2020, with services being relocated to the new West Perry Branch, set to open in 2021. The board’s library facilities committee made the recommendation on Tuesday and the full library board is expected to approve the move at its next meeting February 24.
The branch, at 1066 Virginia Avenue, has been leased by the library since 1994, but it won’t be vacant for long. Non-profit Indy Reads will move into the 5,145 square-foot building in August. Indy Reads currently leases space at Central Library. The closing in May will save the library over $60,000 in lease payments by leaving before the lease expires. Staff from the branch will be sent to other library locations until the West Perry Branch is complete. The last day of service at the Fountain Square Branch is set for May 8.
“The Library has been proud to be a long time partner in the development of Fountain Square,” stated Jackie Nytes, IndyPL CEO. “Now as we think about what follows us in that space, it is exciting to know that a community-minded organization – Indy Reads – would be able to come to the neighborhood and offer wonderful programs and services to build on our work in the area.”
Indy Reads plans to remodel the location, including new offices and public event areas.
“Through our bookstore programming, along with free literacy, English language, and job readiness classes, Indy Reads complements the Library’s goals to develop a community of readers and support work readiness instruction,” said Ryan King, CEO of Indy Reads. “With our strong focus on community, we are thrilled to join the thriving Fountain Square community and excited to engage people of all literacy levels through our services and events.”
The original decision to close the Fountain Square Branch came from a citizen-driven plan identifying geographical gaps in library services, including Perry Township, which led to a series of capital projects for new and renovated buildings approved in separate bond issues totaling $58 million.