Jan. 7—ENGLEWOOD — Dozens of parents and children explored and enjoyed their new library Saturday, as the Dayton Metro Library held the grand opening for its new Northmont Branch.
Located at 700 W. National Road in Englewood, the Northmont Branch offers group study rooms, a quiet reading room, a conference room, an outdoor patio, a community room, "quads" for tutoring, and spaces designated for children, teens, and adults.
Amelia Cupp, a fourth grader at Union Elementary, said she and her classmates helped build sections of a Lego-brick mosaic now displayed in the children's area, through a library partnership with Brixilated.
As soon as attendees to Saturday's grand opening ceremony were given the okay to explore the library, she went directly to the art piece to point out the section she completed to her family.
"I did part of the boy's face where his hair meets his face," she said. "It was very fun, and I learned there's even a real job where you can build Legos and get money for it."
Dayton Metro Library Executive Director Jeffrey Trzeciak said the mosaic depicts the children's area theme of "building connections," and it was assembled entirely by local students and library youth patrons.
Also in attendance Saturday was Englewood resident Danielle McPherson, along with her 1-year-old son, Gavin.
"I figured this would be a good time to get (Gavin) out, socialize a bit, and discover new things," McPherson said, who added that she believes the new library will be a good resource for her family.
"A big thing for us is the community space. My husband is a stay-at-home dad, so having somewhere to go to be around other parents with a little one is important," she said.
Community input was an important factor in the planning process for the new branch, said Trzeciak, adding that each of the DML locations is unique to the area it serves.
Children's areas were a particularly popular request for most of the communities, Trzeciak said. Unique to the Northmont Branch is its location, which is situated next to a bike path.
"There was a lot of thought that went into this specific location, and with it being next to the bike path, we will be adding a bike repair station this spring," Trzeciak said. "Anyone riding on the path who gets a flat tire, for example, can stop here and fix it."
The Dayton Metro Library paid $330,000 for the six-acre site at the beginning of 2020, and costs to construct the new Northmont Branch totaled just under $10 million.
This library branch is the second-last one built as part of DML's Libraries for a Smarter Future project, made possible by voter support of a $187 million tax levy in 2012.
The Northmont Branch is No. 16 of 17. The last project built with the funds will be the new Huber Heights library, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed this spring.
"Construction bonds don't pass everywhere, so it was really remarkable that it passed here, especially something of that size at $187 million," Trzeciak said.
Trzeciak said this speaks to the importance of libraries.
"People really value libraries and see them as a community asset. They are, dare I say, one of the last few places where people can go, regardless of their position or station, and feel comfortable and to get the help they need," he said. "We're here to provide support for your personal success, your academic success, and your employment success."