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Findlay Hancock County Public Library officials propose $17.7 million dollar renovation project

Library leaders say the construction project would double their current space and provide more resources to the community.
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 8:42 PM EDT
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FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - Over 35,000 residents currently hold library cards at the Findlay Hancock County Library. Since 2012, library staff led by Director Sarah Clevidence have tracked the number of visitors attending library events. The group discovered numbers have quadrupled, making space tight within the library.

“This is also not an overly large space so there’s not a lot of room for families to settle in and engage with the library, yet they do anyway,” said Library Director Sarah Clevidence. “Obviously we knew that the library needed more space. In addition to our youth services we knew we didn’t have large enough meeting room space for the community or for community events. The pandemic has only highlighted that, there are things that we could be doing that we aren’t right now. We could potentially be having some programs here in our library right now with small groups that are socially distanced, but we don’t have a space big enough to do that.”

In 2018 the library submitted a $15.3 million dollar plan to Hancock County Commissioners hoping to add on to their building. The plan didn’t materialize but is now being presented once again.

HBM Architects out of Cleveland share an image of what the Findlay-Hancock County Public...
HBM Architects out of Cleveland share an image of what the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library's renovation would like when complete.(Jack Bassett)

“Our best option for expanding while staying in the heart of downtown Findlay is to expand to our south,” said Clevidence. “There are two county-owned parking lots immediately south of the library and we wanted to show the county commissioners what we could do with that space.”

The new proposal would double the library’s space, adding a business center, meeting rooms, and would re-imagine its children’s service area.

“This is an investment in our community’s future and our library’s future,” said Clevidence. “This is a space that will serve us well for years and decades to come. It gives us the room to do the things we want to do for our community.”

Rendered sketches show a before and after look of the county-owned parking lots transformation...
Rendered sketches show a before and after look of the county-owned parking lots transformation as part of the library addition.(Jack Bassett)

Clevidence is waiting on the Hancock County Commissioner’s decision if the parking lot will be available to purchase. If approved, library staff say they will begin efforts to build onto their space with the input and finical support of the community.

“This is the library that belongs to the community of Findlay Hancock County and we want to make sure we are providing you with the services and resources you want from your local library,” said Clevidence. “The great thing about the library is that everyone belongs here, we have something for everyone here, and there’s no cost. This is something everyone can take advantage of.”

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