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Ground broken for south Elyria library

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    Members of Our F.A.M.I.L.Y (Fathers and Mothers Involved in Local Youth) with Elyria Public Library Director Lyn Crouse, center, break ground for the new Elyria Public Library South Branch on 15th Street on Friday.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Kaleena Whitfield, Board chair for Elyria Public Library System, front, and Director Lyn Crouse speak at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Elyria Public Library South Branch on May 17.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — The Elyria Public Library System broke ground Friday afternoon on its new South Branch, and it hopes to hold a grand opening in five months.

The new branch will be at 340 15th St., and construction is set to officially begin Monday, library Director Lyn Crouse said.

Elyria and Keystone Schools voters approved a 0.9-mill, 30-year levy in November 2017 that will generate $950,000 per year to pay off the bonds the library system takes out to finance the construction of the South Branch and the Central Branch being built at East Avenue and Broad Street downtown, as well as upgrades and improvements at its other locales.

Crouse said the new branch building will be 8,500 square feet and, when it opens, the library will take up 5,500 square feet, leaving space for future expansion.

“We originally intended to purchase this property and tear down this building,” Crouse said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “When we brought our architects and engineers out to see it, they said it’s an amazing building. We decided to keep it.”

Crouse said that had the library decided to tear down the building on the property and replace it with a new building, the new building would have been about 3,500 square feet.

The library system started the South Branch in 2006 in Hamilton Elementary School at Middle Avenue and 15th Street. When Elyria Schools decided to replace the school building with a new building, the library branch was moved to the basement of Asbury United Methodist Church, 1611 Middle Ave.

Crouse said the new branch is expected to open in October.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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