LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Lexington Public Library broke ground on a new, significantly larger facility in the former Village Branch location on Versailles Road to better provide for the needs of the neighborhoods it serves. The new branch will reflect the community’s vision for a state-of-the-art community hub, one that offers robust resources and a myriad of program and service offerings. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday at a media event featuring Library and City officials.
The Marksbury Family Foundation has committed the lead gift for the capital campaign to rebuild the former Village Branch and in recognition of their generosity, the new facility will be named the Marksbury Family Branch when it opens in late 2023.
“The Marksbury Family Branch will continue to serve as the cornerstone in LPL’s systemwide vision, just as the Village Branch has done since 2004,” said Lexington Public Library Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “Village Branch consistently delivered rich programming, library collections, and resources from its small space, and we are excited to see how services will be expanded with a new space,” she added.
A new two-story facility will replace the former Village Branch with nearly triple the amount of space available for library services. The new building will include community and study rooms, a dedicated classroom, makerspace, an outdoor reading area, expanded adult and children’s areas, and a drive-thru window where customers can pick up and return borrowed materials. The Library estimates that it will serve approximately 1 million visitors per year at this location.
The Library Foundation has committed to raising $5.3 million in support of this $17 million project through a public-private partnership. Those interested in financially supporting the project may visit www.lexpublib.org/donate.
LPL began the development of a master plan in late 2018 to determine the vision and need for library space and facilities, and to provide a framework and guide for future improvements and growth. The planning process was highly participatory, striving to include as many voices as possible in the development of the plan. During the year-long planning process, more than 2,400 library staff, stakeholders, and community members engaged in the conversation about the vision for library facilities in Lexington-Fayette County. Overwhelmingly, the community supported a reimaging and expansion of this site as the future of the Lexington Public Library.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce the world to Lexington as they enter our city,” remarked the Library’s Foundation Co-Chairs, Ramsey Bova and Larry Smith. “The Marksbury Family Branch will be one of the first buildings people see as they enter Lexington from this corridor. It will stand as a clear demonstration of the vibrancy and diversity of our community and the value we place on education and culture.”
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