Update on Southeast Library

Update on Southeast Library

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 8, 2020

Last Thursday, the Friends of Southeast Library got a status report on DC Library’s plan to renovate SE Library.  Martha Saccocio, Assistant Director, Communications & Community Engagement, DC Library, said that conversations were ongoing between the design team of Quinn Evans and city agencies, including the Office of Planning, the Historic Preservation Office, the Department of Transportation, and the  Board of Zoning Adjustment, among others. Work is scheduled to begin in 2022 with the goal of finishing in 2024.

The Library anticipates a community meeting in December to introduce the design team’s development ideas to the public.  She said the project was on track to achieve the expansion of the library to 18,500 square feet by creating additional space horizontally beneath the building and laterally beneath the north and south gardens, as well as on the parking lot behind the building.  The project will require a zoning adjustment because the current structure already exceeds the allowable lot occupancy.

In a related matter, Saccocio said that reopening of Southeast Library before construction begins would be contingent on the city reaching Phase III in the reopening plan under the Mayor’s COVID Public Health Emergency.  Reopening will be customized for each location and book circulation (and safety) will be prioritized. Currently, Northeast Library has opened but with limitations.  See here:  https://www.dclibrary.org/northeast

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