GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) — When the Columbus Metropolitan Library system toasts to its 150th birthday Saturday, it will kick off the festivities with a ribbon-cutting at its newest branch. 

The library system’s Gahanna branch, located at 310 Granville St., will open to the public at 9 a.m. after two years of construction. The facility is at the site of the former branch in Gahanna, but its collections are housed in a new building — close to 14,000 square feet larger and one story taller. 

On Wednesday, a flurry of finishing-touch activity filled the room behind CML media specialist Ben Zenitsky. Contractors checked the last items off their to-do lists, collection services stocked abounding bookshelves, and custodians worked to achieve a fresh, “shiny” look inside the already new building. 

“There’s just this sense of excitement,” Zenitsky said. 

The first floor includes a new children’s reading center, an area for children to receive school assistance, and meeting rooms.

The library contracted with the same architect — NBBJ — for its Gahanna branch that was used for the Dublin branch, which opened in 2019. Over the past 10 years, he said CML has built and renovated 13 buildings within its system. Its Reynoldsburg branch, currently under construction, has plans for a 2024 opening.

Saturday’s grand opening in Gahanna marks the start of a yearlong celebration for CML, too, according to Zenitsky.

“We got our start 150 years ago on March 4, 1873. We started out as just a single room inside of the old City Hall, downtown. We have since evolved to 23 library locations serving Franklin County,” Zenitsky said. 

After the ribbon is cut early Saturday, the Gahanna branch will have refreshments, music, and entertainment inside. Staff-guided tours of the building will also be offered, and the birthday bash will last for the duration of the day. 

More information about both the new branch and CML’s 150th year is available on the system’s website here