“They’ll easily be able to walk here,” he said.
The new $8.7 million Dayton Metro Library Burkhardt Branch at 4704 Burkhardt Ave. in Dayton will be located across Shedborne Avenue from the current library.
Williams said long before social media existed, the Burkhardt Branch is where he made friendships with students spread from the Eastern Hills and Wright View neighborhoods in Dayton to those in Riverside.
“It’s my hope that what this building meant to me as a young man as a kid who loved books and loved being able to walk up here with my brothers after school … it’ll continue to bring people together,” he said.
Trzeciak said the library’s amenities will include a large community room with after-hours access, a flexible opportunity space for activities and exhibits, a conference room and six smaller study rooms. Additionally, the new branch will feature a quiet reading room with a fireplace, dedicated teen space and a children’s area inspired by the theme “soaring beyond.”
As with the other libraries, the new branch will feature commissioned artworks through a continuing partnership with the Dayton Art Institute, said Trzeciak, who will see the system-wide rebuilding project across the finish line following the February retirement of Tim Kambitsch.
Jeanne Holihan, vice chair of the library’s Board of Trustees, said it took a little more patience to obtain the site for the new library, but the new branch “will be just as amazing as all the other branches that we’ve completed.”
The new library is being built on a site cleared of Columbian Hall, a former events venue. Once built, the old library will be torn down to provide increased parking for the new facility.
Jeffrey Trzeciak, left, Dayton Metro Library's new executive director, speaks with Riverside Mayor Peter Williams at a groundbreaking for the new Burkhardt Branch Library. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
Credit: Chris Stewart
Credit: Chris Stewart
Three-quarters of the projects promised to voters are now completed. The last on the books, a new Huber Heights Branch, is scheduled to open in April 2023. The renovation of the Electra C. Doren branch was the first project and least expensive at $1.88 million. A rebuild of the Main Library, the centerpiece of the system, was completed in August 2017 at a cost of $63 million, according to the library.
Francesca Hary, manager of the Burkhardt Branch, said her library is the last new facility that will be “nestled in a community setting” and not located on a main thoroughfare.
Hary said a focus on upgraded technology at the new branch will help bridge the digital divide for students without internet at home or older job seekers “who did not grow up with a mouse in their hands.”
“It’s s helping equalize, bringing people into the 21st century and beyond, so they can soar,” she said.