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PITTSBURGH-Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh broke ground Friday on its newest library here. The $6 million project will be located at 1210 Federal St. in the North Side area of the city.

Karen Loysen of Pittsburgh-based Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects designed the new library. Construction bids are currently being accepted, and building is expected to commence after Memorial Day.

The library will take up a 16,500-sf lot that was previously the site of a gas station. It will be built and fitted out to LEEDs Certified standard, with natural lighting and energy-conscious mechanical and electrical systems. Plans for the building feature a dedicated children’s programming area, an outdoor terrace and the Allegheny City Room, which will house historical collections of the neighborhood.

“The history of the North Side is very important to residents of the community,” a Carnegie Library spokesperson explains to GlobeSt.com. The materials in the Allegheny City Room include directories and minutes of council meetings dating back to the days before this section of the city was annexed to Pittsburgh. The materials were previously held at another Carnegie Library site a few blocks away that was damaged by lightening. The new North Side Library replaces the damaged building.

The project is part of Carnegie Library’s Libraries for Life capital campaign, which seeks to renew existing facilities and add new ones. Carnegie Library is currently working on three projects: its new Hill District library on Centre Ave. and Kirkpatrick St., which is set to open in the fall of 2008; the renovation and expansion of the East Liberty library building, which is currently in the planning stages and is expected to begin in late 2008 or early 2009; and North Side, which is scheduled for completion in 2009.

According to the Carnegie Library spokesperson, the area is poised for economic growth, as there are a number of new businesses that hope to move into the neighborhood and plans for townhouses to be built not far from the library site.

“Once a library comes into a community, studies have shown that it becomes a very desirable place to live,” explains the spokesperson. “It also becomes a safe place. There are a lot of people that come and congregate in the area around a library. It really brings a community together and I think the new library will end up driving more traffic to the area.”

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