Indy Council OKs funding for two new library branches

Glendale Library
The Glendale branch of the Indianapolis Public Library system is expected to move to a new building nearby when it's completed.

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday unanimously approved funding of nearly $30 million for new Fort Benjamin Harrison and Glendale library branches.

Councilors authorized $13.7 million in bonds and set aside a total of $14.3 million for the Fort Ben branch. The 25,000-square-foot facility will be built on 2.8 acres at 9330 E. 56th St.

Legislators also OK’d $14.9 million in bonds and set aside $15.5 million in total for the Glendale branch. It’s relocating from Glendale Town Center, 6101 N. Keystone Ave., to the site of the former John Strange Elementary School at 3660 E. 62nd St.

Construction had been scheduled to begin in August, but was delayed by months due to cost increases.

Councilors first approved lower amounts for both projects in 2014, but Indianapolis Public Library leaders said costs topped the original estimates because of inflation and pandemic-era surges in the price of steel, concrete and labor. System Chief Financial Officer Ijeoma Dike-Young said the library never sold the 2014 bonds.

The library says that the higher price tags for the projects won’t increase its portion of the property tax rate.

Both locations are expected to open in 2023, barring further delays.

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