Restoration and Renovation Project 2018

Restoration and renovation project begins at Wright Memorial Public Library 
OAKWOOD, Ohio —Wright Memorial Public Library will begin construction this month on a $513,000 facility project that will restore the building’s historic reading rooms and renovate other portions of the main level.
“This is an exciting time for the Library and its patrons,” said Director Kristi Hale. “We are proud to be stewards of this building and to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of the community for generations to come.”
The Jack W. And Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation of the Dayton Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to the Library earlier this year for the restoration of the Library’s historic front reading rooms, creation of quiet study space and meeting room, and a redesign of the customer service desks.
The Library plans to invest an additional $260,000 to complete other renovations that will improve the functionality of the building and reduce the cost and scope of future facility projects.  
The majority of the funds for the additional renovations will come from the estates of two long-time patrons: inventor, aeronautical engineer, and author William R. Winslow, and Dr. Gerald E. Meyer. Those gifts, along with about $70,000 from the Library’s capital fund, will be used to refinish the historic woodwork and bookcases, replace damaged carpet, make needed structural improvements, and optimize staff work spaces.
“We are incredibly grateful that the project will be paid for almost entirely with private donations,” said Hale. “We know how important it is to be efficient with resources and leverage private resources wisely.”
Wright Library’s administration is committed to preserving the building’s unique character. The building, which is a listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features Tudor architecture, vaulted ceilings, Globe Wernicke book shelves, and stained glass windows. The Library was nominated to the Historic Register in 2013 for its architectural distinction as an excellent example of a Tudor or Jacobethan Revival style library, designed by the local Dayton, Ohio, architecture firm of Schenck and Williams. Schenck and Williams were responsible for the designs of much of the civic architecture in Oakwood.
The project’s priorities were influenced by community feedback drawn from a multi-phased research process in 2016. Preserving the building’s history and architecture; making necessary repairs and replacements; and enhancing the facility’s functionality emerged as key findings in the study.
“The community asked us to focus on preserving the building’s history,” Hale said. “They also want a functional space that accommodates the materials they want, the programming they value, and the access to technology they expect in today’s world.”
The Library’s Board of Trustees selected local architects LWC Inc. and Arcanum-based Arcon Builders to complete the work. The Library will maintain normal business hours, and the front entrance is expected to remain open throughout the two-phase project, which is to scheduled to be completed in summer 2018.
Book collections, seating, and other materials will be relocated throughout the library to accommodate construction. “We appreciate our patrons’ patience as we work to keep the library open during this process,” Hale said.
The front reading rooms and upstairs restrooms will be temporarily blocked off. Handicap accessible bathrooms will be available in the lower level at all times.
Phase I, now underway, will renovate the historic front reading rooms and foyer with new light fixtures appropriate to the architecture, refinished original furnishings and woodwork, additional furnishings, convenient power access, and new carpet.
The small conference room to be located near the main level bathrooms will be equipped with technology for collaborative projects and have an additional study area.
Phase II, slated to start in the spring, includes construction of a central customer service desk, improved flooring, electrical, mechanical and structural systems, and redesigned staff work areas.
“While these projects address only part of our facility needs, everything that we are doing now will reduce the cost of later renovations,” Hale said.
For further details about the construction, and the Library’s future facility needs visit
About the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation
Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation, established in 2008 through The Dayton Foundation, has provided invaluable support to many nonprofit organizations like the United Way and other organizations that work for the betterment of Greater Dayton. Longtime Oakwood residents Jack W. Eichelberger, a prominent Dayton attorney and real estate entrepreneur, and Irish-born Sally D. Eichelberger, a devoted member of the Dayton Women's Club, were legendary for their "common touch." It was a quality they both possessed and long will be remembered by the members of the legal profession and their many friends. They enjoyed each other's company and, in equal measure, the company of Dayton Bar Association members, local law enforcement personnel and the people of Dayton and Oakwood. Together, Jack Eichelberger, who passed away in 2001, and Sally Eichelberger, who passed away in 2006, left The Dayton Foundation a multi-million-dollar gift from their combined estates.  Nearly $4.5 million has been awarded to date to benefit the community the Eichelbergers so loved during their lifetimes.
About The Dayton Foundation
The Dayton Foundation is the regional community foundation for Greater Dayton. Since its establishment in 1921, the Foundation has helped people to help others, managing more than 3,500 charitable funds that have provided over $864 million in grants to nonprofits locally and nationwide. Ranked among the top 5 percent of all community foundations in the nation for total assets, The Dayton Foundation is second among them in the number of charitable funds and third in the number of grants awarded. More information about The Dayton Foundation is available at or follow the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
About Wright Memorial Public Library
Wright Memorial Public Library is a community focal point that helps fulfill patron needs for information and entertainment materials; meets the learning needs of patrons on topics related to work, school, and personal life; and encourages learning and intellectual growth from the earliest ages. The Library provides high levels of efficient, friendly, personal service and fosters an atmosphere of intellectual liberty in the American tradition of free ideas. Wright Memorial Public Library is located at 1776 Far Hills Avenue in the city of Oakwood. The Library’s hours of operation are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The Library offers a number of services to the community, including story hours for children; special events for teens, families, children, and adults; book discussion groups; meeting rooms for public use; and a website with online learning resources and downloadable digital books, magazines, music and videos.