Southwest Branch

Southwest Branch Library

Mark Your Calendars for the Grand Opening on June 9!

The new Southwest Branch (890 W. Gordon Pike) will open on Friday, June 9. To celebrate the grand opening, the Library will host a public event for Monroe County residents from 2–7 PM that will include food, special events and performances, and opportunities to enjoy the new spaces within the Southwest Branch.

Schedule of events:

  • 2–2:30 and 3–3:30 PM: IU Jacobs School of Music Harpist, Theresa Labuda
  • 2:30 PM: Opening ceremony and ribbon cutting with a performance by members of the Batchelor Middle School Choir
  • 3–4 PM: Bloomington High School North Jazz Combo, Elvin DeBruicker (tenor sax), Charlie Edwards (drums), Leo Messier (guitar), and Noah Smith (bass)
  • 4–5 PM: Ensembles from the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
  • 5–6 PM: IU Jacobs School of Music Jazz Combo, Samuel Butler (trumpet), Peter Lerner (guitar), Kyle Cantrell (bass), and Miles Damaso (drums)
  • 5:30–5:40 PM: Batchelor Middle School Jazz Combo, led by Band and Choir Director Joel Brainard
  • 6–6:20 PM: Batchelor Middle School Orchestra Ensemble, led by Orchestra Director Marianne Ritter

We'll also have two cooking demos:

  • 3–4 PM: Bright beet hummus demonstration by Kayte Young, producer and host of Earth Eats
  • 5:30–6:30 PM: Tyropitakia (cheese pies) demonstration by Olga Kalentzidou, lecturer from the Indiana University Department of Geography


January 2023 Update

There are numerous development projects coinciding as our community continues to evolve. The Southwest Branch construction is independent of Monroe County's infrastructure project for Fullerton Pike, Phase III. More information on the City's ongoing infrastructure projects can be found here, and information specific to Fullerton Pike, Phase III can be found here. Once the Southwest Branch is completed this June, the Library will be planting approximately 40 new trees all along Gordon Pike and South Rogers Street to help maintain the area's natural environment.



The new 21,000-square-foot Southwest Branch will sit on approximately five acres of property on the Southwest corner of the Batchelor Middle School grounds at 890 W. Gordon Pike, west of the South Rogers Street and West Gordon Pike roundabout. In addition to traditional services and spaces, the new branch will feature a teaching kitchen, an all-ages collaborative space, and an amphitheater. Curious about the progress? Now you can view a time-lapse camera of the construction site below!



  • In April 2018, the Library Board of Trustees approved hiring Matheu Architects, PC for a branch planning study. Our recent strategic direction planning process validated the community's need and desire for an additional branch.
  • In the summer of 2018, conversations between the Library, Matheu Architects, PC, and a number of community leaders and stakeholders informed a general Southwest location of this potential third facility. The Southwest portion of the county is the largest growing area in terms of residential growth and population, is an underserved area for library services, and is one of the few available and viable land areas.
  • In September 2018, many Southwest-area residents participated in scheduled community conversations to provide input into a new Southwest branch. Additionally, over 800 Monroe County residents provided feedback via a survey, email, or by phone.
  • In February 2019, Matheu Architects, PC's branch planning study (PDF) was presented to and unanimously approved by the Library Board of Trustees at which point, we began discussions with its real estate broker. Operational costs would be funded without impact on the two current Library branches and construction costs funded without any anticipated increase in tax rates.
  • In Summer 2019, Matheu Architects, PC was hired to design the new branch. The company was selected based on proven qualifications and project experience.
  • In Fall 2019, a potential site was identified and discussions began to take place. Additionally, budget and potential funding options were identified.

  • In December 2019, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County awarded the Library a grant for equipment, appliances, and supplies to establish a 600-square foot teaching kitchen in the future Southwest Branch.

  • In March 2020, the Library Board of Trustees and the Monroe County Community School Corporation Board (MCCSC) approved a purchase for sale agreement for an approximately 5-acre property on the Southwest corner of the Batchelor Middle School site at 900 W. Gordon Pike.

  • In Summer 2020, we began the development of a required site and county subdivision plan.

  • In September 2020, Hoosier Forestry Consultants, LLC performed a timber area review of the land (PDF). The Library Board of Trustees selected and approved a building footprint and siting option.

  • In November 2020, we submitted the required site and county subdivision plan to the County.

  • From January–February 2021, we received the approval of our subdivision and property recording and purchased the land from Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC).
  • From January–March 2021, we finalized the interior finishes and design development.
  • In June 2021, the Monroe County Council approved a bond for branch construction (at current tax rate) and Friends of the Library pledge $650,000 to the new branch.
  • From March–September 2021, we completed construction documents, sought a bid, and approved a contract (with Strauser Construction). In September, a construction bond was sold.


Time-Lapse Camera of Construction Site

(Hover your mouse over the image to access the controls)



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