Staff presented project designs to the Planning Commission in November and December 2018.
The Board of Zoning Appeals approved three variances for the project including two for front yard setbacks along North Virginia Avenue and Park Avenue, and one for building lot coverage during their December 13 hearing.
Site Plan submission occurred the first quarter of 2019.
Staff is working with the public schools to create a temporary library location in the existing trailers next to TJ Elementary School.
Staff, the Library Board, and consultants have had significant discussions regarding the size of the library’s collection. While there will be a reduction in the collection, the library will remain book-centric while becoming ADA compliant and offering more programming and meeting space. The library will continue the active selection process for new books that is very responsive to patron suggestions. Our goal is to provide a vital collection that is useful, accurate, and addresses the needs and interests of the community.
The Library Board of Directors recommended an option that places the children's area on the lower level, all adult sections on the upper level, and the main entrance on the corner of Virginia Ave. and Park Ave.
Construction is set for September 2019 through December 2020.
View from Park Ave. and N. Virginia Ave.
View from Virginia Ave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the library closing? No, but the library will relocate within the city for about12-14 months. A temporary location and decision on services offered are being worked on.
Will there be windows in the Youth Services area on the lower level? Yes, on two sides of the building (facing Virginia Ave. and the driveway), which will allow for a lot of natural light. This level will also be larger with the expansion toward Virginia Ave.
The Library Board's Recommendation
The Library Board of Trustees recommends a plan that will place the children's area on the lower level, all the adult areas on the upper level, and create a new entrance on the corner of Park Avenue and Virginia Avenue. All of that is in additional to the infrastructure upgrades and more meeting room space. View the presentation from the community meetings in August.
There are many benefits to this plan, including:
More Space: The children’s area will have nearly three times more space than the current area, and one-third more space than if the area remains on the upper level after the renovation. The flexibility of the lower level will also allow for zones for preschoolers, elementary kids, and teens.
Safety and Security: As recommended by Police Chief Gavin, separating the children and adult areas helps create a safer environment for families during man-made and natural disasters.
Quiet Environment: Moving kids to the lower level creates a quieter atmosphere for the adult areas. Right now, the children's area is directly above quiet study space, and lively little feet moving, stomping, and exploring above is a distraction.
Decor and Comfort: The lower level can be outfitted to brighten up the area and fit the needs of children including lower bookshelves, comfortable seating, and colorful decorations.
History Up Front: The Local History Room would become a prominent feature of the library on the upper level.Right now it is tucked away on the lower level. The Board is looking forward to creating a bigger presence for this amazing local resource.
Convenience: Moving the adult areas to one level is more convenient for visitors -- all materials and staff will be on one floor, not split between two floors. Visitors will enjoy finding everything they need on one floor.
Flexibility: The new areas will allow for more programming flexibility overall.
The rough layouts of the levels could look like the following; for a presentation of all the options the Board was considering, click here.
The Library Board welcomes public input about the expansion and renovation project via email or mail to the Board of Trustees at 120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church, VA 22046.
Why are Renovations and an Expansion Needed?
The building is aged and its systems are outdated, having been constructed in 1957 and expanded in 1968 and 1992. Also, the Library has over 27,000 registered borrowers and is expected to exceed 35,000 by 2033. The Library does not have the space to accommodate the growth trend.
The analysis in the Master Plan portrayed a building that is ADA deficient in many aspects, in need of many infrastructure repairs or replacements, lacks storage and sufficient security measures, needs larger public restrooms, a larger Local History Room, and meeting space to accommodate larger audiences.
Renovations and the proposed two story expansion of 6,600 square feet will address these issues. The entire building will be designed to attain LEED Silver certification.
Meetings and Events
Most recent listed first.
Community Information Sessions
Wednesday, August 1 at 7:00 PM in the Library Conference Room (120 N. Virginia Avenue)
Thursday, August 2 at 9:30 AM in the Library Conference Room (120 N. Virginia Avenue)
Saturday, August 4 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Farmers Market (300 Park Avenue)
Learn more about the Library Board's recommendation, including placing the children's area on the lower level, all the adult areas on the upper level, and creating a new entrance on the corner of Park Avenue and Virginia Avenue.
Community Meetings (January 30 and 31, 2018)
Attendees provided input on the services and spaces important for the Library to have over the next 30 years.