New Westfield Library Takes Shape

(WESTFIELD, DECEMBER 5, 2023) – A little more than a year ago, Westfield Washington Public Library and Westfield Washington Township broke ground on a 3.6-acre property at the corner of Westfield Boulevard and Park Street. With the combined work of krM Architecture, Meyer Najem Construction, GM Development and Veridus Group, the 55,000-square-foot facility is taking shape with an anticipated completion date of May 2024.

Sheryl Sollars, executive director of Westfield Washington Public Library, said the new building will be a centerpiece in the heart of Westfield’s expanding downtown.

“It’s going to provide Westfield with a great gathering space for the public, not only for library services but also for bringing the whole community together,” Sollars said.

The building will be portioned with approximately 80 percent library space and 20 percent space for Westfield Washington Township.

Westfield Washington Township Trustee Danielle Carey Tolan compared the shared space to having two condos divided by a wall, where each organization owns its own space and land. She also said the building was designed with future expansion for either organization in mind.

“It saved us almost 30 percent on total cost by building together,” Carey Tolan said. “It’s a great way to continue joint collaborations between government agencies.”

Carey Tolan said townships are authorized to fill service voids as they deem necessary. For WWT, those services include parks programming, financial assistance for basic needs in emergency situations, fire services for unincorporated areas and cemetery care, to name a few. The nearly 12,000-square-foot WWT side of the building will have main offices on the second floor with public space on the first and will provide community meeting space for large programming with three smaller study rooms.

Sollars estimates that with 43,000 square feet of space on the library side, the 28 library employees will have more work space, and patrons will have access to about 11,000 more square-feet, or about 30 to 40 percent more space.

Of course, more space also means more room for books. The building will have designated space directly in front of the main entrance for new books. Additional space will house a Friends of the Westfield Library book store, where volunteers will sell books that have been donated to the library or moved out of circulation. All proceeds will go back to the library.

“One of our major goals is to be a community place for people to come and gather,” Sollars said.

Some of that gathering space will include a cafe, a patio and an outdoor reading balcony.

“Another of our focuses with the new building was to bring in a lot of natural light,” Sollars said. “At the current library, we always felt like it was dark.”

Sollars said there will be approximately 75 windows in the new building. Perhaps the largest area where floor-to-ceiling windows will fill the space with natural lighting will be the atrium. What Sollars calls the “gathering stair” in the atrium will have large steps with cushions and lounge chairs for comfortable seating on landings. The atrium will also house the video and audio collection, which will all be mobile to allow space for performances.

“We wanted to provide different types of spaces for different groups to meet,” Sollars said.

A large meeting room downstairs will seat 200 guests in chairs and 125 people at training tables and will feature a video wall. There will also be a classroom downstairs for homeschool and other classes, a high-tech conference room upstairs and extra conference and study rooms of varying sizes.

Some spaces will offer new experiences, such as a makerspace, a podcast recording studio, a craft room in the children’s area and a drive-up drop book drop. Other areas familiar to library patrons will be expanding a bit, such as the Sumner History Room and the children’s department.

Church Church Hittle and Antrim, Community First Bank of Indiana, Westfield Kiwanis and Scott and Marcella Caulfield have committed funds for special projects, including a town in the children’s area with several playhouses, a seed library for gardening enthusiasts, a lactation room and window seats where children can curl up with their favorite books.

Sollars said the library is always looking for donations. Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities, including naming rights, should contact Westfield Library Foundation Executive Director Erin Downey at or 317-896-9397, ext. 119.

When the new building is completed, Sollars expects the moving process to take three weeks. Besides moving the books, staff will move some of the current library furniture, buy some new furniture and bring in some from the Carmel Clay Public Library.

“My goal is to be closed to the public the least amount of time that we can,” Sollars said.

Once the library has moved into its new location, Destination Westfeld plans call for converting the vacated space at 333 W. Hoover St. into a community center.

This article originally appeared in Current (Westfield edition). Read the full article here.