Central Library opens to fanfare
Jennie Runevitch/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - After a two year delay and millions of dollars over budget, the newly-renovated Central Library finally opened its doors to the public Sunday.
The library project ran $50 million over budget after cracks were discovered in the parking garage, and two lawsuits are pending. But its grand opening gave guests a grand view of this huge financial and intellectual investment.
The library's structural transformation is meant to challenge the mind and renew the spirit, with awe-inspiring architecture and a wealth of knowledge for the taking. Sunday's first patrons were impressed.
"It's gorgeous. It's beautiful. You walk right in the atrium, it's absolutely beautiful," said Shannon Rubel, who came to the grand opening with her husband and young son.
"Oh, it's amazing. We had seen the pictures and read the write-up in the paper, but to see it as a whole different matter. It's awesome," commented Mary Jean Orander.
Orander's husband Don agreed, saying the library's opening was "certainly worth the wait".
Any thoughts of controversy, cost and construction delays of renovation seemed to disappear during the library's public debut.
"The library is beautiful. It's absolutely beautiful," said patron Charlie Ford.
"It was not without its controversy. It was not without its detractors, but this is an investment that the people of the city of Indianapolis have made not only in themselves but in future generations," said Louis Mahern, President of the Board of Trustees.
This place for the people houses more than 700,000 books, CD's, DVD's and other materials, plus 300 high-speed computers, self check-out stations, and a special area for children called "The Learning Curve" with books for kids and a series of learning pods. That's the section of which library leaders are most proud.
"Our grandchildren's grandchildren will use this facility and enjoy it," said Mahern.
It's a facility finally open to the public, renewing its legacy to the future.