In Living

The Good Hope Library is a replacement for the former Mill Road branch.

The Milwaukee Public Library's first reopening is also a grand opening

Milwaukee Public Library is opening its first branch since shutting down in March due to coronavirus this week.

The branch that's opening – Good Hope – is opening for the first time ever.

The Good Hope branch, 7715 W. Good Hope Rd., which is part of a mixed-used development that also includes residential units, will open on Wednesday, July 29 at 11 a.m.

In a message to library staff, City Librarian Paula Kiely wrote, "Most library openings come with much fanfare, crowds, programming, food, and giveaways. In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, this opening will be much smaller and quieter, but no less exciting."

Mayor Tom Barrett and other officials will make brief remarks to open the branch and there will then be tours. Masks will be required.

The library will have some limited access for now, according to Kiely, who wrote, "The library includes wonderful meeting spaces, a unique teen area, a maker space, a delightful children's area and a fireplace room. Access to parts of the library and the collections will be restricted, but computers, WiFi, holds pick-ups, and reference services will all be available."

The $6.35 million branch is a replacement for the nearby Mill Road Branch Library. It is the third largest branch library in the system, with its 18,400 square feet coming in behind Mitchell Street (23,000 square feet) and Washington Park (20,000 square feet).

Opening of the branch was delayed due to COVID-19. For now, there will be restrictions on the number of patrons allowed inside at a time, as well as safety measures that include required social distancing and masks.

The restrictions also mean that some activities, such as browsing the stacks, are not yet allowed.

Designed by Zimmerman Architectural Studios and built by Platt Construction, Inc., the library was developed in partnership with Royal Capital Group and Maures Development Group.

Engberg Anderson was the building architect and NorthTrack Construction the builder.

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