LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A big crowd came out Monday to witness the opening of Louisville's new Northeast Regional Library.
The modern building has floor-to-ceiling windows that let the sunlight in and give a view of the 13-acre green space the surrounds the building off Ormsby Station Road near the northeast YMCA.
The new library, complete with 120,000 books, replaces the Westport branch. The 40,000 square-foot facility features an auditorium, a play area for children, a separate teen space, meeting rooms, spots for reading and updated technology.
There is also a Maker Pavilion focused on hands-on learning. The Maker Room features a 3-D printer, laser cutter, programmable drones and sewing machines. A Media Studio has a sound booth to record podcasts and music. It also includes an area to create videos using green screen technology.
A kitchen at the Northeast Library will allow demos and cooking classes with local experts and chefs.
The total price tag for the eco-friendly building is an estimated $17.8 million.
While the crowd was big at the ribbon cutting, and smiles were easy to find, there was also an elephant in the room.
"There's a bittersweet quality to this, because everybody here knows we're facing a difficult budget challenge," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. "The library shares in those challenges."
The Middletown and Fern Creek Library branches became casualties of the city's ongoing budget cuts just days ago.
"We're going to have to wait and see what happens tomorrow with the final council vote, but one thing is very clear: Our community is very passionate about our libraries," Fischer said.
The Northeast Regional Library is located at 15 Bellevoir Circle in Lyndon. It is open from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To find out more about free programs and classes for kids and adults, go to the library's online calendar at LFPL.org/events.
Meeting rooms are available for use by community groups and organizations. It is free, but reservations are required. For more information, call (502)-394-0379.
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