Improved access, new computer lab and updated community room are among the many features awaiting patrons when the freshly-renovated East Washington Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library, 2822 E. Washington Street, reopens its doors to the public at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 24.
Listed in 2016 in the National Register of Historic Places, the East Washington Branch is one of two original Carnegie Libraries still serving Indianapolis. The $2.4 million project, the first major renovation since the branch opened in 1910, features a 2,200-square-foot northward expansion that includes a 16-unit computer lab, updated restrooms and new children's program space. Significant natural lighting from windows on the building's northside creates a brighter and more open environment. All improvements were made with the goal of maintaining the building's historic integrity.
While the historic exterior entry steps remain, a new street-level elevator leading to the main lobby has been installed to improve access. The branch parking lot features new and signed handicapped spaces with entrance remaining the same from East Washington Street and rear alley from Rural Street.
The improvements, generated from a series of neighborhood engagement meetings, will allow the branch to improve services, such as computer access, job search assistance, tutoring, children's literacy and community programming, for Eastside residents. "This is an extremely rewarding culmination of a process that will allow the Library to be responsive to the East Washington community's long-term needs," said IndyPL CEO Jackie Nytes. "We invite everyone to experience their new branch and take advantage of all the free resources it offers."
This and other capital projects identified in the Library's Strategic Plan through 2020 are funded from individual bonds approved by the Indianapolis City-Council Council totaling over $58 million being assessed without any increase in the Library's current debt service tax rate.
For more information on this and other IndyPL capital projects, visit www.indypl.org/renovations.