Saturday, February 24, 2024

Two public libraries are getting a makeover

NEWPORT NEWS — The Pearl Bailey and Main Street libraries are getting a makeover. Currently, the city has not allocated funds for these two projects, which are still in the design phase.

Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, director for the Newport News Public Libraries, said while the designs aren’t final, they should be ready in a month.

“The purpose of the designs was really to capture input for the community in terms of what they wanted or needed in the branch facilities,” she said.

At the March 4 meeting regarding the proposed library changes, some suggestions included more study rooms and more flexible meeting space. As a result, the Richmond-based architect, Enteros Designs, tweaked the library plans, Alcantara-Antoine said.

The plan is to incorporate library trends, mixing traditional spaces for quiet activities such as reading books, conducting research and studying to non-traditional areas for noisy activities like various library programs. How? By providing more multi-purpose rooms to both library branches, five rooms to Pearl Bailey and 13 rooms for Main Street.

The timing of the two projects depends on the city’s budget and the library is still identifying a site for Grissom library, Alcantara-Antoine said.

“Libraries have changed in the past 20 years,” Alcantara-Antoine added. “They are more than just place to house books.”

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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