East Washington Branch Expansion Plans Unveiled

INDIANAPOLIS — A 2,200-square-foot northward expansion, enhanced accessibility and the addition of significant natural lighting are key architectural features announced for the $2.4 million renovation of the East Washington Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library, located at 2822 E. Washington Street.
Following a series of meetings to receive community input, Mohler Architects has developed plans for the first major expansion of the 5,600-square-foot branch since it opened in 1910 as one of two remaining Indianapolis public libraries constructed from funds provided by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The new design is intended to maintain the historical integrity of the branch while providing more space for library services and programming.
A prime consideration focuses on creating better access to the facility, a challenging goal since the branch is located in mid-block rather than on a corner lot. The plan will keep in place the historic exterior entry steps but provide for the installation of an adjoining elevator leading to the lobby in the existing structure. Access to the branch parking lot would remain from East Washington Street and rear alley from Rural Street. The lot would include new and signed handicapped spaces.
The expanded area will include a 20-unit computer lab and updated restrooms on the upper level and a children’s program space with additional restrooms on the lower level. The lower level of the existing structure will house the branch’s community room along with staff lounge and mechanical systems. Both levels will benefit from greater natural lighting emanating from numerous windows on the northside.
This and other capital projects identified in the Library’s new Strategic Plan through 2020 are funded from individual bonds approved by the Indianapolis City-Council Council totaling over $58 million to be assessed without any increase in the Library’s current debt service tax rate.
In December, Library trustees will authorize bidding of this project to contractors qualified to perform the work. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, with estimated completion in November 2016.
For more information on this and other IndyPL capital projects, visit www.indypl.org.