Johnson County Library updates timeline for relocating historic Antioch branch in Merriam

Johnson County Library Antioch

The new Antioch Library opening is delayed to 2024 after the library took additional time to incorporate stakeholder feedback into plans for the building, library officials say. The new branch is going to be next door to the Merriam Community Center at 6040 Slater Street, in the space pictured above. File image.

The Antioch Library branch in northeast Johnson County is now set to open at its new location, next door to the Merriam Community Center at 6040 Slater Street, in 2024.

In 2017, Johnson County Library and the city of Merriam began talking about co-locating the branch and the city’s community center a few blocks north of the library’s current location at the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road.

After discussions on several plans, the city in 2019 approved the transfer of property necessary to build the library.

Library officials held public input sessions and are currently in the design phase of the $13.68 million replacement project, said Elissa Andre, JCL external communications manager.

Although the library originally  scheduled construction to begin at the end of 2021, Andre said the library took additional time to incorporate stakeholder feedback into plans for the building.

“It is very important to us to get this building right for the residents of Merriam, and to build a facility that can adapt with the community around it over the next 50 to 75 years,” Andre told the Post via email.

The Antioch branch has historic significance in northeast Johnson County.

The first branch of the Johnson County Library opened in a private Merriam residence in 1953. Three years later, the Antioch branch opened at the site it still sits on today.

For decades, the Antioch branch served as both a library and JCL’s headquarters.

Updated timeline

Below is an updated project timeline, as outlined via email by Andre:

  • The library expects to show the preliminary design plans to the library board at its March 10 meeting.
  • After the meeting, the designs will be shared with the public via video, she said.
  • JCL is anticipating a ground breaking to happen at the end of 2022 or early 2023.
  • The new library is now tentatively set to open to the public in 2024, about a year off from previous timeline expectations.