Monday, June 5, 2023

Williamsburg Regional Library board discusses expansion, relocation after firm finds library too small and in need of more parking

The Williamsburg Library. (file photo)
The Williamsburg Library. (file photo)

The Williamsburg Regional Library Board of Trustees is taking the first steps in evaluating the library for possible expansion or relocation.

“This is the very beginning of the conversation,” said Natalie Miller Moore, chairwoman of the trustees during the board’s regular meeting Wednesday.

The Williamsburg Regional Library tapped RRMM Lukmire Architects to analyze the existing structure on Scotland Street.

The firm, based out of Arlington, found the existing library to be too small to fit the needs for a contemporary library.

In order to keep up with the growing demands of library goers, the firm proposed four options to the board: renovate the existing library and expand; rebuild a larger library on the existing site; relocate the library across Armistead Drive to a larger site; or, relocate the library to a new location.

The firm didn’t include a cost estimate for the proposals.

The firm proposed the library expand to 50,453 square feet from its existing 39,970 square feet. Most of the added space would be dedicated to circulation and a larger public area.

The first option proposes removing structural stacks, demolishing the right wing and replacing it with a new, two story addition.

At the current site, the firm also found that parking is extremely limited, as the existing structure has 88 spaces total.

“Parking is a major issue,” said Betsy Fowler, library director.

Relocating the library across the street to Armistead Drive would give the library the best solution to parking, according to the proposal. Relocating to face Scotland Street would add 130 parking spaces, according to RRMM Lukmire Architects.

Fowler reiterated to the board that the library renovations and or expansion are only in their initial stages of discussion.

“This is the very beginning of the process, all options are on the table,” Fowler said.

Miller Moore said the library board of trustees will further discuss the firm’s findings and use the information as the board crafts its strategic plan, which will guide the board over the next three years.

Troy Jefferson
Troy Jefferson
Troy Jefferson is the city of Williamsburg and James City County reporter for the WYDaily. Jefferson graduated from Michigan State University and the University of Maryland. When he is not writing stories, he enjoys romantic comedies.

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