Merriam, Johnson County Library exploring possibility of locating Antioch branch on new community center site

Our forum for the at-large candidates will be held at Antioch Library in Merriam. Photo via Johnson County Library.
Our forum for the at-large candidates will be held at Antioch Library in Merriam. Photo via Johnson County Library.

The Johnson County Library and the city of Merriam have begun preliminary talks about the possibility of locating a new facility for the Antioch library branch on the site of the community center that Merriam voters approved last month.

The organizations issued a joint statement confirming they have agreed to explore the logistics of adding a new library building to the site plan:

“Johnson County Library anticipates renovating or replacing Antioch Library in Merriam. With the City in the process of designing a new community center, the Library Board and the City have agreed to study opportunities to partner. This could be a great civic partnership benefitting Merriam residents and Johnson County taxpayers.”

The comprehensive library master plan adopted by the library board in 2015 calls for the renovation or replacement of the aging Antioch branch building. The building currently sits at about 35,000 feet, but only 15,000 feet of that space is used for public library functions. Moreover, the current Antioch site has minimal parking adjacent to the building, with many patrons having to park in lots across the street.

“As such, Antioch could be replaced with a significantly smaller building that provides the same net amount of public space (approximately 15,000 square feet),” the master plan reads. “Replacement with a smaller building would also free up additional space on the site for parking, which is currently in short supply.”

An overview document presented to the library board earlier this month shows the proximity of the current library branch location to the future home of the community center, and illustrates how a library facility could be incorporated into the site plan:

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