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Don’t shelve progress

Buckingham County supervisors need to bite the bullet and build a new library.

Despite Spencer Adams — a respected member of our community who was principal at the former Dillwyn Primary School for years — relaying numerous concerns about using the old school to house the library, the board of supervisors voted unanimously on March 14 to seek proposals to determine if it’s feasible to renovate the old school to house a library.

In October, Adams, representing the board-appointed Library Liaison Committee, presented plans to build a new $2 million 9,580-square-foot library — a redesign of the original proposal, which we’ve endorsed.

That month, supervisors unanimously voted to designate county-owned property on Wingo Road adjacent to the Buckingham Recycling Center for the library. The action also stipulated that the leaders could move forward with the preparation of necessary construction documents.

Reiterating his concerns, Adams said that the old school was over two times the size of what’s needed for a new library, adding that the structure corridor of the old school would have to be completely modified, noting that the classroom design of the building doesn’t translate into the open needs of a library, all of the building’s systems would need to either be replaced or removed and the building is not ADA-compliant. Adams said there is asbestos and lead paint in the building — which brings a set of complicated issues.

This can all be avoided by building a new library.

Renovating or retrofitting the old school would be more expensive and less efficient than simply constructing a new building.

The board’s decision to seek  studies and hire firms to look at a building that’s known to be problematic is a waste of time and money that should be put toward a new library building.