By Julia Glendening

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Albemarle County’s Crozet Library project team presented their initial design for the new Crozet Library and the Board of Supervisors approved it with enthusiasm. The project will now proceed into the design and development phase. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring of 2010 and be completed in 2011.


Bill Letteri

, the County’s Director of Facilities Development, spoke to the

Board of Supervisors at their meeting on June 3, 2009

to share the conceptual design and to request authorization for the next phase of the project. His presentation included a timeline of the Committee’s progress since it was

established in the summer of 2008

. The architectural designs were presented by

Melanie Hennigan

of Grimm & Parker Architects.


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Architect Melanie Hennigan, Grimm + Parker Architects

The library will be a two level building that will have all of its facilities on the upper level. The lower level will be mostly unfinished and Hennigan shared the option that it could be developed further in the future. The upper level will be accessible directly from the parking lot or from an elevator and stairs via the Crozet Avenue entrance. Features of the library will include a children’s section, numerous reading areas, computers, and a large reference section.

There was unanimous approval from the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor

Sally Thomas

(Samuel Miller) commented on the potential for the lower level and she commended the architects for designing large windows that would allow the library to be naturally lit.

“This is a beautiful building and I think your design efforts and the community’s design efforts have resulted in a terrific amenity to downtown Crozet. This is going to be a successful anchor,” said Supervisor

David Slutzky

(Rio).

Letteri also emphasized that the present condition of the economy would make the Crozet Library project less expensive if construction was moved ahead of schedule. The original estimate is $6.3 million, but Letteri said he believed there is the potential to save 20% if the project begins construction in the fall of 2009 due to the favorable construction market.

Slutzky said that the timing of the project had already been determined in the FY2010 budget discussions and believed it was unrealistic for the project to be pushed ahead of schedule.

Supervisor

Dennis Rooker

(Jack Jouett) was interested in the prospect of a less expensive library and said he would want to move the project forward if possible. Slutzky agreed that it would be financially beneficial, however, he did not believe that it was at all probable and reiterated that the construction schedule had already been established within the budget process.

Letteri said he only wanted the Board of Supervisors to be aware of the amount of money the County could save on this project.

Supervisor

Ann Mallek

(White Hall) agreed that the information was useful in case federal funding was made available to Albemarle County. “It is the number one library project in the state,” she said.

The Board of Supervisors approved the preliminary design of the Crozet Library and agreed to review the timing of the project in the fall. They will examine how the construction market has changed and if the library construction could be started sooner .  The design development phase will take about three months and result in a preliminary site plan for submission to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors this fall.

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