The Columbus Metropolitan library system faces $4 billion in unfunded liabilities and is facing a looming closure of its historic library building that is part of the city’s largest redevelopment project, officials said Thursday.
The library building on East Market Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest downtown buildings in the country.
The Columbus board of education said in a report to Congress that the $4.9 billion project would include renovating the historic library and installing a new building.
It said it would have to pay for the renovation of the building and the building’s rehabilitation by 2018.
The project is part-funded by a federal grant, and is projected to cost more than $2 billion.
In addition, the project would have cost the city about $2.8 million to replace the historic structure and the historic building, the board said.
The $4-billion project is expected to open in 2019, but it will not be completed until 2019.
The project has drawn criticism from libraries around the country and some state and local governments.
Library officials say the historic buildings and the renovated building will be a key part of their redevelopment strategy, which will be announced at a Sept. 20 board meeting.
The city of Columbus also said in its report that the library will be “an important element of our efforts to revitalize the neighborhood, promote cultural diversity and support Columbus’ economic growth.”