Update on SW & SE Library Redesigns

Design-Build Team for the Southeast Library To Be Chosen This Fall

503
The design of the new Southwest Branch Library. The team is in the process of acquiring a permit to raze the old building. Rendering courtesy of Perkins + Will

Renovations for the Southeast Library (403 Seventh St. SE) is still in the bidding process. The selection of the design-build team is underway. Four teams are expected to make oral presentations to the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) early this month.

DCPL said they were not able to disclose the names of the firms making presentations. The selection meeting is closed to the public, but representatives on the committee include Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Gerry Sroufe (6B02) and Friends of the Southeast Library President Neal Gregory, who were selected to represent the community by Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6-D).

Once selected, the design team will engage with the community over the next year to understand the wants and needs for the space. DCPL said the plan is for architectural designs to be developed during 2020.

The $23.5 million renovation is will begin in early 2021. The grand reopening, slated for 2022, will coincide with the library’s centennial.

Raze Permit Sought for Southwest Library

The Southwest Library (900 Wesley Pl. SW) closed to the public on June 1, 2019. Turner Construction is in the process of preparing the site for demolition. The application process for the raze permit was underway at press time so the date to pull down the building had not yet been determined.  The library is expected to be completed in 2020. DCPL is working with Perkins+Will and Turner Construction as the design-build team for the new library which is fully funded at $18 million.

The Southwest Interim Library (425 M St. SW) was closed briefly on August 13th due to water supply issues. DCPL said they had increased the water capacity and had been monitoring conditions at the site since the end of that week. “Since taking those steps, we have not observed any additional issues and have not had to close the location,” said spokesperson George Williams.

The new Southwest Library will feature an environmentally sustainable design with solar panels and a green roof as well as lots of natural light. There will be more public space, including a variety of seating options, spaces for reading and additional meeting and conference rooms as well as an outdoor porch. The new library will also have an Innovation Lab with 3-D printers.

Learn more about the DCPL construction projects.