By Edward Redd
Hundreds of guests celebrated the Oct. 1 reopening of the Carmel Clay Public Library’s main campus at 425 E. Main St., which began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. followed by special events throughout the day.
CCPL Director Bob Swanay gave opening remarks at the ribbon-cutting, acknowledging and thanking those who helped make the library’s reopening possible.
“Our reimagined library ensures that we will keep pace with and stay in alignment with the remarkable pace of growth of Carmel,” Swanay said. “We are excited to provide library services to the thriving and growing community of Carmel.”
Following the ceremony, doors opened to the public for the first time in more than two years to allow visitors to explore the upgraded space.
The $40 million renovation included remodeled rooms to provide more space and features. Those visiting the space had the opportunity to try new software, such as virtual reality. The children’s area offered face painting, balloon animals, caricatures and drop-in activities that families could enjoy throughout the day.
Other new additions include a parking garage, private study areas and artwork designed by local artists Conner Heagy and Walter Knabe.
“I’m excited about all of it, the new children’s area, the new adult services and all of the new art,” Swanay said.
The new community room was a primary driver for the project, according to Swanay. He said the library needed more room for meetings and events, and the renovation provided a space more than twice as large as was previously available. The expanded teen area also was expanded significantly.
The library building had been closed since Sept. 5, 2020, with services moved temporarily to a former Marsh store in Merchants’ Square.
CCPL worked worked with Ratio, an architectural firm, on the building design, and Veridus Group, which helped locate the temporary site while construction was taking place. Skillman Corporation served as the library’s construction firm.
CCPL’s hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Learn more at CarmelClayLibrary.org.