Build the library now

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, January 19, 2017

Supervisors in Buckingham County need to come to the realization that its residents are in dire need of a new public library in a new building — not an old school building fraught with potential issues.

When supervisors unanimously voted in December to authorize contract negotiations with Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates (CRA) architects, of Charlottesville, to determine if the former Dillwyn Primary School building can be renovated to house a new public library, we think they threw more than $23,000 of the taxpayers’ money down the drain.

The need is clear to many for a new library building, one that’s economical and reasonable that the county can pay for and benefit from for years to come.

According to Library Liaison Committee member Spencer Adams — who worked in the school for years — the structure corridor of the old school would have to be completely modified for the building to work as a library. In July, he said the classroom design of the building “does not translate into the open needs of a library.” All systems in the building would need to either be replaced or removed to make it work as a library. “The building is not ADA compliant. Multiple bathrooms would have to be added to allow for after-hours access to public meeting rooms,” he said.

There’s asbestos and lead paint in the building “that would have to be dealt with in any renovation,” Adams said.

Supervisors should take the word of and put their trust in Adams and others who’ve worked feverishly alongside him in designing a $1.8-$2 million much-needed library.