Community Hears Plans, Gives Feedback on New Northside Library

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

August 23, 2013

People had a chance to talk about what they wanted to see in the new Northside Library in Albemarle County.

Northside will move its home to the old Phillips building on Rio Road.

At a meeting at the current Northside Library in Albemarle Square Shopping Center, architects for the new library provided an overview of their plans to renovate the Phillips building.

The $11.8 million project will help Northside in several ways.

The new library will provide needed space. Northside is currently the busiest branch of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library system and has been overcrowded. The new library will provide approximately 30,000 square feet of library space.

The library will save money by also providing storage space. The building will have more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse space. The new space will allow for long-term storage, saving the county, and taxpayers, money.

The building will also provide new services.

To understand what new services and other features people want, HBM Architects, the architects designing the library, listened to public feedback.

"Every community has a little different focus and what is important to us is to really hear about that so we can really make that a part of the design for the new library," said Peter Bolek, HBM Architects Principal.

Bolek, whose firm has designed other libraries, said the role of libraries has evolved.

"I think libraries are becoming a real cornerstone to communities. They're becoming a more social gathering place for sharing of ideas and content, creating content. And I think people are really gonna be looking for a place where they can go and spend time at the library."

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