Update on the Southeast Library Renovation
By Larry Janezich
Representatives of the development/design team undertaking the $23 million renovation of Southeast Library met with Capitol Hill residents at Eastern Market on Saturday. Residents had an opportunity to take a survey as well as express preferences for design elements under consideration for the renovation. DC Public Libraries selected the firm of Whiting-Turner to be the project’s contractor and Quinn Evans as the Architect of Record. Alos on the team is Tappe Architects which specializes in library construction.
Saturday’s event marked the beginning of the process of public engagement and was intended to be a quick hit to capture input from those not inclined to get to a public meeting. The first community meeting on the project is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, in the North Hall at Eastern Market. The purpose of that meeting will be to allow residents and library users to take a deep dive into the design elements.
As the design proceeds, support will be sought from the ANC, the Historic Preservation Review Board, and the Commission on Fine Arts. The developer is still in the process of determining if review by the National Capital Planning Commission will be necessary.
The development team is in the midst of a 90 day “due diligence” period to assess the technical requirements for the construction. One part of that assessment is the collection of soil borings to check for contamination and the water table.
The design process is expected to take at least a year and Southeast Library is expected to remain open into 2021 with an anticipated closure for renovation close to the end of 2021. The hope is to reopen in 2022, the 100th anniversary of the library.
The survey is online and can be found here: https://www.dclibrary.org/southeastlibraryrenovation