Troy-Miami County Public Library plans expansion into Hobart Center


Staff report

TROY – The Miami County Commissioners have recently negotiated a 10-year lease agreement with the Troy-Miami County Public Library for approximately 8,533 square feet of space on the second floor of the Hobart Government Center, 510 W. Water Street, Troy. The library plans to create a Technology Cener and Innovation Space for use by the general public.

Preliminary plans are to model the Innovation Space after a makerspace at the Xenia Public Library and include 3D printers, a laser cutter, vinyl cutters/printers, CNC milling and routing machines, a laser engraver, a soldering station, a sublimation station, video editing and recording equipment, a vinyl printer and cutter, and a media conversion station.

“The Innovation Space will allow community members to design, prototype, and manufacture items using tools that would otherwise be inaccessible or unaffordable,” said Rachelle Via, executive director at the library. “For example, teachers, small business owners, and nonprofits may not have a lot of extra money or resources, so equipment such as the vinyl printers makes creating signs, banners, posters, stickers, and decals easy and very affordable.”

In a joint statement, Miami County Commissioners Ted Mercer, Wade Westfall, and Greg Simmons stated, “We are excited to be the catalyst providing a place where members of our community can learn, invent, and share ideas in an atmosphere of growth and discovery. In today’s connected world, the ability to provide tools that help community members develop new skills and a space for professional growth and advancement is essential for workforce and small business development. This is truly a win-win scenario for the Miami County community.”

The Miami County Department of Development has been in discussions with the Troy-Miami County Library on ways the two organizations can work together to make the new Technology and Innovation Space vibrant and successful for the small business and entrepreneurial community. Richard Osgood, director of the Miami County Department of Development, said, “The Department of Development team is excited to partner with the library in their goal of empowering entrepreneurs in Miami County. Our partnership will go far beyond the facility being located in the Hobart Center. We will utilize our many strong relationships with county businesses to encourage their mentorship of entrepreneurs, offer support services to those using the center, and potentially leverage resources to expand the center’s capabilities.”

In addition to the Innovation Space, there will be a Learning Lab with approximately 15 computers offering specialized software and printers. The library currently works with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) but can only offer classes from 8-9 a.m. before the library is open. With a lab, the library will be able to offer classes on job searching, resume writing, and basic and advanced computer skills. When the lab is not in use for classes, it would be available for general use by the public. Public computers in Troy were used more than 13,800 times in 2019.

Additional spaces in the building will be available for use by the public as quiet spaces for work or study and will offer free Wi-Fi. There will also be a business center with copier, scanner, fax, brochure folder, laminator, and other commonly requested business tools. The library’s administrative offices, currently housed in the basement of the library, will also be moved to the Hobart building. Moving the public computers, administrative offices, and some meeting rooms will allow the library to look at renovating the main library to add a teen space and enhance other areas.

The lease between the library and the county begins March 1 of this year and ends in February 2032. The rent is $66,130.75 being $7.75 per square foot for the first year, and for each year thereafter, the square foot rental rate shall be increased by 3% from the previous year’s rate and multiplied by the then current square footage contained in the premises to calculate the yearly rent due, which includes utilities, maintenance, and basic upkeep of the premises.

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