As Louisville faces budget cuts that could lead to the closing of two library branches, some hope the new Northeast Regional Library will fill an expected void.
The campus — which is at 15 Bellevoir Circle in Lyndon — will open to the public on June 24, is new from the ground up, a modern building in a park-like setting. And there are about 170,000 people living within five miles of it. Once Northeast Regional opens, that’s how far 90 percent of Louisville’s population will be from any large library branch, including the Main Library.
The 40,000-square-foot facility is the third and final regional library planned for Louisville, said Paul Burns, who is communications director of the Louisville Free Public Library.
“In the past, our only large resource library was the downtown branch and so with these three regionals now people don’t have to drive downtown to get the same kind of resources and access,” he said.
Construction on Northeast started in late 2017, and Burns said the total estimated cost is nearly $18 million. Most of that came from city and state sources, while private donations made up $3.8 million.
Burns said the library’s campus design will make it different from the existing Southwest and South Central libraries.
“We’re incorporating outdoor learning spaces, we have walking paths and outdoor learning opportunities on the site as well so that will be a little bit different for the library here in Louisville,” he said.
The new library could serve patrons of the Middletown branch, which is expected to close along with the Fern Creek branch, in order to save almost $1 million in the city’s budget.
Staffing at Northeast Regional will also be affected by the budget, which will be finalized in late June. Burns said it will have 15 full-time staff, but whether it will get all of the 10 part-time workers it wants is yet to be determined.
This post has been updated with the address of the new library.