The first $880,000 of funds for the renovation and expansion of the Mary Riley Styles Library in Falls Church was approved by a 4-2 vote of the F.C. City Council Monday night, with the majority led by Mayor David Tarter citing the will of the voters in a landslide passage of a public referendum in support of the effort. Other Council members, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, Phil Duncan and Dan Sze, cited the same reason, Sze stating, “The people voted to do it, and I am encumbered to execute it in the best manner possible.”
Citing the burdens of the George Mason High School and City Hall projects, Council members Letty Hardi and Ross Litkenhous voted against, saying they were for it, but the timing was wrong. “It’s too much to do all at once,” Hardi said, “Too many balls in the air at the same time.”
But with the go-ahead from the Council Monday, the Library Board of Trustees, with a strong representation at the meeting, will host three community meetings to refresh and update citizens on the library’s expansion and renovation, to be held next Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the library’s conference room (120 N. Virginia Ave, Falls Church).
One of the undetermined questions, that could impact the cost of the project (the 2016 bond referendum approved $8.7 million) is whether, or for how long, the library will remain open during the two-year renovation.
The approval Monday was for a Task Order Award to be given under an existing contract with the BKV Group, Inc., for pre-design services, program confirmation, schematic design, design development, construction documents, and construction management at risk evaluation/selection, construction administration and warranty/close out. The work will also include all necessary architectural and engineering services to apply for LEED Silver certification.