Tuesday, December 29, 2009

District Libraries Prepare for Full Body Makeover

Two District of Columbia public libraries are seeking approval to raze their current buildings to make room for a total makeover in 2010. The dazzling new 20,000 s.f., LEED-certified buildings should be back in service to the surrounding communities by 2011. The new Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library at 115 Atlantic Street, SW, and Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library at 3660 Alabama Avenue, SE are designed by international architects Adjaye Associates along with Wiencek and Associates, who were awarded over $2.6 million for the designs.

The construction contracts differ from many District contracts in that an initial small amount is paid to the construction contractors as they negotiate their way through the design process with the architects. Then the contractors will proffer an estimated maximum construction cost, which will have to go before the City Council for approval. According to George Williams, spokesperson for the DCPL, the estimated costs for construction at each library is $10 million, but total costs could range up to $16 million depending on the contractors and the City Council.

The award for construction for the Washington Highland branch went to a partnership between Coakley & Williams and Blue Skye Construction. The design, reminiscent of the Tenley Library just begun, received approval from the Commission of Fine Arts in November. Library authorities are hoping for raze approval in the end of January or early February with construction beginning shortly thereafter. The temporary location opened this month at 4037 South Capitol St., SW.

Hess Construction will partner with Broughton Construction Company LLC to build the new Francis A. Gregory Library. DCPL submitted a raze application in October and the agency is also waiting on approval before any construction can begin.

Both new buildings will feature a public meeting room, study areas, a computer lab, and separate reading areas for children, teens and adults.

Washington, DC real estate development news


Anonymous said...

I'm sure this will make the bums very happy. Thanks taxpayers!

Carol Casperson on Dec 30, 2009, 2:03:00 PM said...

My neighbors and I are looking forware to the beautiful new libraries---we are not bums!

Anonymous said...

I notice this article only glances over the radical design change made to the Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library. Can aynone say "Community Action"?...:-)

Que said...

Why are we tearing down all the libraries at the same time shouldn't this be on a rolling basis (when one is done go to the next one; pretty soon all the libraries will be under construction.

Anonymous said...

To Que: There are "interim libraries" being built near the location where these new permannent libraries are to be built. Nevertheless, Francis Gregory and Washington Highlands are both East of the River in woefully under-served communities. Two libraries being built at once over there aint bad at all.

Thompson on Jan 4, 2010, 10:46:00 AM said...

Dear 1st Anonymous who posted on 12/30@1:57PM: You are a jaded jerk who is ignorant of what you speak.

These are communities that truly are woefully underserved and the upgraded public libraries will serve as levelers to the educational playing field of the metropolitan area. We need more endeavors like this.

Next time, have the cahones to post your ID.

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