Library considers West Side branch’s future

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new study examines two options for a local library branch: Remodel the current location or relocate it inside the Wick Recreation Area at Mill Creek Park

The building and sites committee for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County met Tuesday to weigh the pros and cons of both.

“By teaming up with Mill Creek Park, we can share in some of the cost of the location, so lower operating costs, so we can provide more services to that community at a cost that we can afford,” said Building and Sites Committee Chairman Alex Benyo.

Benyo said that moving the branch to the former ice skating rink warming house would put it in a more centralized location. According to estimates, it would be about $400,000 cheaper than remodeling the current site on Mahoning Avenue, which was built in the 1920s.

The board understands the struggles that come with moving a site out of one neighborhood and into another.

“It shifts it from an area that is seeking stabilization to an area that is more stabilized and heavily populated,” said Heidi Daniel, executive director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

But the partnership also could bring more people inside the library.

“We have over 100,000 visitors at Wick Recreation Area, and I think adding a library to our most active recreation program is very exciting,” said Mill Creek Metroparks Executive Director Dennis Miller.

A final decision has not been made as the committee will take a few months to receive input from the community and do their own research before moving ahead with presenting the board with a final recommendation.

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