The community is invited to the grand opening of The Indianapolis Public Library’s West Perry branch, located at 6650 S Harding St., on Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Festivities will include live music, self-guided tours of the branch, a scavenger hunt, live animal meet and greets with Silly Safaris, a performance by dancers from the Burmese American Community Institute, Cinamon the clown, and more.
At 10:30, Curtis Bigsbee, vice-president of the Library’s Board of Trustees, will speak at the grand opening alongside Lisa Gomperts, principal/project manager with local architecture and engineering firm Schmidt Associates, and Russell Lewis, project manager with Powers & Sons Construction Company.
The new $9.2 million branch encompasses 24,000-square-feet and fills a service gap in the growing Perry Township community. Patrons will find a varied collection of materials at the branch, including materials in Spanish and children’s Burmese language materials to support the diverse community of immigrants who live on Indy’s south side.
Amenities include a community meeting room that can hold 203 guests, a fireplace, a marketplace, computer stations, a children's and teen zone, and an inviting outdoor patio space. In addition, the branch will utilize solar panels to generate 75% of the annual electricity needs for the building. Powers & Sons Construction Company of Indianapolis was the construction manager, while HBM Architects and Interior Designers of Cleveland, Ohio worked as the library design consultant.
A study identifying gaps in Library services led to several IndyPL branches being built or renovated. The West Perry branch replaced the Fountain Square Branch that was closed in May 2020, funded by bonds approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council to be assessed with no increase in the Library’s debt service tax rate. The architect for the West Perry branch is Schmidt Associates of Indianapolis.
Peggy Wehr, manager of the new branch, says she is excited to get involved in the community and to get to know patrons and partners.
“The West Perry staff is very excited to open our new branch, work with our community partners and meet our patrons,” said Wehr. “This branch will fill the service gap in Perry Township and allow us to offer our patrons an opening day materials collection of 60,000 items, programming opportunities as well as provide a meeting space for our community."
The West Perry Branch and other planned IndyPL capital projects are funded from individual bonds approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council totaling over $58 million that are assessed with no increase in the Library’s current debt service tax rate. For more information on the West Perry branch, visit here.