Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roanoke City’s full-service library in high-traffic location

Full-service library site

Full-service library site

Tuesday afternoon huddled under tents with rain dripping between cracks an enthusiastic gathering of officials and library supporters listen to details for a full-service library. The location at 2903 Peters Creek road is comprised of two parcels equaling a little over 11 acres.

The cost as best as Brian Townsend, assistant city manager could recall was $795,000. Assessment of both parcels added together is $900,000.

Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea remarked that “this library will provide library services to a neighborhood currently under-served.” The library will be larger than any other branch at 30,000 square feet. Council members Court Rosen, David Trinkle and Rupert Cutler also attended the announcement.

Funding comes from the capital improvement project plan beginning in fiscal year 2011. The decision for a full-service library was made with input from the citizens said Lea.

City manager, Darlene Burcham anticipates a completed full-service library in “a little over two-years.” It has taken a year of searching “for just the right spot … the best of three that we looked at,” said Burcham.

Timm Jamieson with SFCS Architectural firm in Roanoke will head up the project. SFCS renovated and expanded the Gainsboro and Jackson Park libraries. Burcham expects the library to be the first platinum leed certified building in Roanoke City – totally carbon neutral. The new fire station on Melrose just received its gold certification remarked Burcham.

Director of Libraries, Sheila Umberger remembered that this will be the first library built from the ground up since the 1970s. “More space, more books and more services,” is what library customers expect said Umberger. It will include a teen space as in the other renovated branches. It will have 100 computers, cafe space and a drive-through window. There will be a children’s theme area that will be arranged by a renowned designer said Umberger.

Stan Breakell President of Breakell, Inc. said since 2005 circulation in libraries has increased 60%. Visits and checkouts from libraries have risen from 425,000 to 670,000. Programs offered have increased from 175 to 1700 with a 46,000 corresponding increase in attendance. Breakell said to remember that “in these times of economic hardship libraries are a great promoter of equality – anyone can go.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Community, Education, Local Events

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