Branches of the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers and Noblesville are being renovated. At the Noblesville branch, infrastructure improvements are under way and planned to be complete next year.
“In 2019, we did an in-depth facility assessment on the buildings and grounds and have a whole list of infrastructure improvements and other improvements, and we are in the middle of getting that started,” HEPL Director Edra Waterman said.
The infrastructure improvements fall under the first phase of construction plans for the Noblesville branch that includes projects such as replacing windows and skylights, replacing elevators, reconfiguring the parking lot, replacing pavement, making pedestrian access to the library clearer and expanding and improving the main entrance. The Noblesville branch also will make improvements to the outdoor areas near the children’s entrance and adding a garden patio for the teen zone.
A second phase will begin next year that includes remodeling the Indiana Room, which is on the second floor of the Noblesville branch and houses a collection dedicated to preserving and providing local and state history, genealogy and family history.
“This is where we will really dig into our second floor, and that’s where the Indiana room is,” Waterman said. “We are wanting to really create a more interactive experience. Everything that is existing will still be there. All the stuff we do, all the archives and genealogy and local history will still be the core of that service, but we are going to be adding on this opportunity for people to really engage with their own history and have opportunities to get hands-on and maybe create things. We will have a space in that area to display interactive exhibits.”
Waterman said the first phase of construction is likely to be complete by summer 2022, and the second phase will be completed in 2023. The first-phase cost is $8.72 million. Waterman said cost hasn’t been determined for the second phase.
The library is funded through property and income taxes, but because of HEPL’s strategic planning, Noblesville residents won’t see a tax increase.
“We currently have a bond we issued in 2003 to do the big expansions we did for both libraries, and that bond is rolling off, so in 2018 and 2019 we began planning to roll a new bond on (to replace the one that was paid off), so there’s no additional tax for people.”
Construction on the Fishers branch will include a new two-story main entrance on the north side of the building, expanded parking and redesigned interior spaces.
For more, visit hepl.lib.in.us.