We are now fully open to the public with regular hours!
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday, September 17th to celebrate.
Short answer: We want to provide Bullitt County with the amazing library it deserves—including plenty of space for large-scale events, space for workforce development, and space for using and exploring new technologies. Oh, and enough parking to accommodate all those events and services!
This project has been a long time in the making and is necessary to keep up with the growth of the county. Upon completion, the new Central Library replaced our Ridgway Memorial location. Ridgway Memorial Library served our community well since 1963, but we outgrew the building as the population, needs, and expectations of the Shepherdsville and Bullitt County communities evolved.
The square footage of the “old” library and collective BCPL system was actually much smaller than is recommended by state guidelines for a service population of our size, especially when considering the projected population in 2040 and beyond. More space was needed for staff, for collections, and for public meeting and collaboration spaces. In conjunction with our four branch locations in Hillview, Lebanon Junction, Mt. Washington, and Nichols, Central Library serves the entirety of Bullitt County’s 82,000 residents. It will be instrumental in accommodating larger-scale events like concerts and festivals that may not fit at branch locations, and it offers a wider variety of meeting spaces for different-sized groups and a more expansive core library collection. It also allowed us to bring essential staff and departments from our annex facility back together in one building for more effective communications and operations.
It must also be noted that the facility at Ridgway Memorial has structural issues which, as time passes, would cause real safety concerns or necessitate a massive, disruptive, and costly rebuild. Parking at the current facility for larger events or on certain court dates was also a frequent challenge for both patrons and staff. The new location addresses all of these challenges and provides our community with a beautiful facility that everyone can enjoy.
For the time being, we will continue to operate and restock the 24 Hours Library in its current location behind Ridgway Memorial. We also offer a 24 Hour Library at our Nichols location and and Anytime Pickup Locker at the new Central Library.
At approximately 45,000 square feet, the new facility is designed to accommodate decades of continued population growth.
The facility cost a total of $10.5 million. A bond issue for $7.7 million—at a historically low rate—took place in 2020 to fund the building; the remainder of the project cost has come from the Library’s reserve fund.
The new facility was built with several green and energy-saving features, including:
- Geothermal HVAC
- “Smart” comfort, acoustical, and light controls
- A solar panel array that will essentially power the building
There will be an energy information station in the lobby to make these features and operations as transparent as possible.
Four garden courtyards reflect the four seasons and four elements: Spring/Wind, Autumn/Fire, Water/Summer, Earth/Winter.
The plantings in each area are meant to shine in the given season. Although not all of the plants are native, many native plants have been included in the design, including chokecherry, black-eyed Susan, dogwood, redbud, serviceberry, summersweet, and winterberry.
Alas, none of those things are included in the new building. But, here are just a few of the fun, cool, and adaptive features included in our new space:
- Fun outdoor courtyard features include Percussive Play outside the children’s area, a water fountain, and a fire pit
- Creative play activities and an Everbright interactive board in the children’s area
- A Maker Lab and Digital Media Lab with a rotating collection of tools for demo and eventual public lab hours
- An expanded Library of Things collection with a demo & play area
- Motorized work surfaces for height adjustment and accessibility
- Sound loop, including the Listen Everywhere app enabled, in the All-Purpose Community Room
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