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Library Consultants’ Report Calls For a Tear-Down of Existing Building

According to Falls Church City Councilman Phil Duncan, reporting as a first-hand witness of the near-complete report by a consulting team to the Mary Riley Styles Public Library Board of Trustees last week, the consultants’ preferred option appeared to be a complete tear down of the existing library building and its replacement with a new three-story structure with an added below-ground level of parking.

Duncan made this report at tonight’s Falls Church City Council meeting during the discussion of language added to a resolution to issue a $19.5 million bond to renovate City Hall and other City and school structures. Duncan favored adding a line saying that, while immediate repairs and improvements are required at the current City Hall, funding for studying further steps should also be used to consider a complete tear down and rebuild of the City Hall on City-owned property.

A lengthy debate occurred over whether that option should be included in the language of the resolution, but once it was agreed that no one opposed the need for immediate patch-up work at the existing City Hall — in fact, City Manager Wyatt Shields cautioned the Council that the City is “on notice” to correct serious security risks associated with its use as a courtroom in the Arlington Circuit Court system — then the debate over the lines to consider a replacement, rather than merely a renovation, of the building ended and the vote for the bond issue was unanimous.

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