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Main Library Renovation Q&A



Your input continues to be important, so please use the form on this page to submit any additional questions. Thank you for taking part in this process, your involvement helps us build a better library for Richmond!

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Newly Answered Questions

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Community Hub for Disaster Response

    Date Posted: Tue, May 03 - 4:32 pm


  • The master plan refers to resiliency in the sense of disaster response, as well. Are there conceptual ideas that involve hardening the site from disasters and after a disaster acting as a community hub for disaster response?
  • Answer

  • This building currently houses the City of Richmond Office of Emergency Management. In the next phase of work, we will review the topic of resiliency for disaster response with that agency. At that time, our structural engineer will analyze the current structure of the building to determine what it would entail for building hardening.

LEED Certification

    Date Posted: Tue, May 03 - 4:16 pm


  • Will the building qualify or come close to qualifying for LEED certification?
  • Answer

  • Yes, the building will be LEED certified, we are aiming to have a minimum LEED Silver net zero building (we will research achieving LEED Zero).

Materials from the Existing Building

    Date Posted: Tue, May 03 - 4:14 pm


  • Will any materials from the existing building (exterior or interior) be reused?
  • Answer

  • Yes, materials from the interior of the existing 1920s building embedded in the 1970s wrapper will be salvaged and reused / displayed in the renovated library (for example the marble cladding from the interior walls of the existing foyer).

Sustainable Stormwater Reduction and Retention

    Date Posted: Tue, May 03 - 4:09 pm


  • Can you detail any concepts to be used for sustainable stormwater reduction and retention?
  • Answer

  • As you may know, the library has had issues with flooding in the basement due to the combined storm / sewer lines in the street, so this will be a topic of primary concern in the next phase of work when we will engage our civil engineer. Our concept includes a splash pad, where the water can be stored in underground tanks and then recycled back through the water features. We also plan for permeable pavers, roof gardens, and bioretention in landscape areas.

Old Art Deco Building

    Date Posted: Fri, Apr 01 - 6:21 pm


  • I really encourage the Library to save the art deco building. Replace a different part of the property, if necessary. That building is a true gem.
  • Answer

  • The exterior of the art deco building was severely damaged in the 1972 expansion and is no longer salvageable. We will save interior art deco elements, unique finishes and features of the 1928 building.

The Crozet House

    Date Posted: Fri, Apr 01 - 6:18 pm


  • Doesn’t that top rendering of the “western end” show the addition of property at First and Main that is not owned by RPL, and currently has a historic structure (circa-1815 Crozet House)?
  • Answer

  • The historic Crozet House at First and Main is not on Library property, not owned by the Library, and therefore it is not part of this rendering and will not be impacted by the renovation at Main.

Roof top safety

    Date Posted: Fri, Apr 01 - 6:15 pm


  • How will the railings on the roof encourage safety?
  • Answer

  • The railings on the roof are shoulder height, and green roof plantings will discourage getting close to the railings.

Preserving the Dooley Building

    Date Posted: Fri, Apr 01 - 6:10 pm


  • Is that an entirely new building or are stories added to the original? How about the old part of the library, does that remain inside the new building?? I hope you maintain some of the classic architecture & features of the original building along with some exciting new lines & expansion. Good luck!
  • Answer

  • Thank you, it is our intention to maintain aspects of the architecture and interesting features of the original 1928 building. We know patrons have important memories tied to the Dooley building, and will seek to retain aspects of the old building in the redesigned library.

The older Dooley building

    Date Posted: Fri, Apr 01 - 5:16 pm


  • What is the plan for the historic section of the library that was built by Mrs. Dooley? Will it be maintained as it was with the original expansion?
  • Answer

  • The 1972 expansion responded to the need of Richmonders at the time, adding 90,000 sq ft. for books. Elements of the older Dooley building will be saved. Any attempted renovation to the older building would require extensive renovation and engineering to bring the building into code compliance. This option was reviewed extensively, and unfortunately preservation and structurally reinventing the space to modern library needs would add significant, prohibitive cost.

Solar Panels on the new Library

    Date Posted: Fri, Apr 01 - 5:14 pm


  • How much solar will be on the roof? (the more the better)
  • Answer

  • At this point we are unable to answer this important question. Our goal is to be as energy efficient as possible, setting a standard for the city and the region for a civic building and library.