SHP Breaks Ground on Forest Park Branch of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

SHP recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Forest Park Branch of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library (CHPL).

Library staff, local dignitaries and members of the community gathered on Thursday, May 25 for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new 26,440sf facility, located at 660 Northland Blvd. The $19M project is part of the Next Generation Library initiative—a decade-long, community-driven process by CHPL to upgrade its facilities and build a bright future for everyone living in Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The original Forest Park Branch Library was completed in September 1969 and has received minimal improvements since then. SHP incorporated feedback from the community, staff, businesses, and other stakeholders in its design for the new branch, which will deliver modern, end-user-focused spaces to better serve Forest Park, Springdale, and the surrounding communities.

When completed, the new branch will feature a large children’s section, an engaging teen area complete with gaming, an interior/exterior use courtyard to bring reading and gathering outdoors, a makerspace, and a multi-purpose room intended for after-hours group use. The vibrant, appealing facade will leverage CHPL’s branding to create a strong identity for the community landmark and draw interest from constituents.

“Designing libraries is always a great experience because we know that these buildings truly serve the community,” said Jeffrey Sackenheim, Vice President and Director of Architecture at SHP. “Working with library staff, community members and other stakeholders to determine what they want out of their libraries, and being able to deliver on those wants in a tangible way, is one of the best parts of our job. The whole SHP team is excited to see this vision come to life.”

“This new Forest Park Branch is an excellent opportunity for the Library to expand our services in this community, for knowledge, learning, resources and a space for everyone to enjoy. The groundbreaking marked the beginning of this project, and we are excited to bring this new welcoming space to the community.”
– Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director at CHPL