Improvements planned for both Loveland and Symmes branches

From Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

CINCINNATI  —  Community members wanting more details about the planned improvements coming to their neighborhood Library location, as well as the Downtown Main Library, can find them in the second and third parts of the  Facility Master Plan (FMP). These new documents outline specifics of the long-term vision for all 41 locations, and incorporate community input and recommendations by national and local consultants. 

Symmes Branch Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Libraries (Provided)

The first part of the FMP, released to the public in December 2019, identified a capital facility need in the range of $300- 350 million in today’s dollars; however, the plan’s recommendations limited project costs to funds available from the 2018 levy. These projects include: $120-130 million in Design Projects; $20-25 million in Capital Maintenance Projects; as well as approximately $2 million in Strategic Investments.  

Every branch as well as the Downtown Main Library is receiving improvements over the next 10 years, in one of three categories:  


      Strategic Investment—Small, but impactful, improvements, such as laptop kiosks, maker equipment and study pods  

      Capital Maintenance—Replacement and repair work, such as HVAC, furniture, roofing and carpeting  

      Design Projects—Significant improvements, such as major renovations, expansions or relocations 

A total of $98 million is projected to be available in the first five years, and the first part of the FMP identified the initial projects anticipated to launch through 2023. The balance of projects is conditional on continued funding streams including state and local funding. The recommendations may also be adjusted based on market conditions, critical repairs and other factors beyond the Library’s control. 

Loveland Branch Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Libraries (Provided)

The first five projects which launch in 2020 are:  

      Price Hill Branch Library—This Design Project renovates the existing building and builds a new addition beginning this spring. 

     Walnut Hills Branch Library—This Design Project involves an extensive renovation and expansion and begins this fall. 

      Downtown Main Library—A Design Project that re-imagines the Vine Street entrance and Capital Maintenance work launches this year and continues into 2021. 

      Elmwood Branch Library—Is receiving Capital Maintenance work that includes new paint, carpeting, and furniture. 

      Reading Branch Library—Is receiving a Strategic Investment for technology upgrades, beginning with an installation of a laptop kiosk later this month. 

The second part of the FMP contains more details of physical changes recommended for each Library location. The third portion lays out a proposed timeline for Design Projects, as well as projected costs.

“Now that we have a detailed plan, we can begin the work to bring these changes to life,” said Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Library. “The second and third parts of the Facility Master Plan detail the vision to take each of these valued community spaces into the future to better serve our community. The thousands of people who gave of their time in 2019 to provide feedback will see many of their suggestions in this plan.” 

Click here to see all Facilities Master Plan sections at

Loveland can be found on page 64, Symmes is on page 74