The Durham County Library will host a visioning meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, to gather community input for the renovation of the Main Library .
“The Main Library is an integral part of the downtown community,” said Tammy Baggett, library director. “We know that Durham residents are very passionate about their library, and we want them to bring that passion and their ideas for what they want to see in the new facility.”
The Main Library had 444,258 visits last fiscal year and is one of the top draws downtown.
But the 1980 building is outdated for today’s needs. The stairwell running through the middle also creates “difficult sight lines” and prevents having opens spaces filled with natural light, like many modern libraries have, library spokeswoman Gina Rozier said.
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A $24 million renovation planned several years go was put on hold when the recession hit, she said. It would have taken the library “pretty much down to the studs,” she said, then added, “probably a little less than down to the studs.”
Vines Architecture of Raleigh has been selected to design the library renovation, and project leads have already begun meeting with library and county staff to gather feedback, according to a news release. The library will also hold invitation-only forums for representatives of key constituencies like downtown businesses, providers of services to the homeless and surrounding neighborhood associations.
The Main Library renovation is scheduled to go on a bond referendum in November 2016. If the referendum is approved, construction would begin in late summer or early fall 2017, with a completion date of late 2018 or early 2019.
No RSVP is necessary for the visioning meeting at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. Additional public forums will be held throughout the design process.
For more information about the library, visit durhamcountylibrary.org.