VINTON–The end is in sight for the construction of the new Vinton Library. There is still work left to do, mostly on the mezzanine level and in landscaping the lot, but most of the essential elements are in place for a fall opening. The ground-breaking ceremony for the project was held in April 2014.
The Vinton Library is not under the same time constraints for completion as the South County and Glenvar Libraries since there are no announced plans for the current library building.
Construction administrator Stephen Doyle of HBM Architects says there is “prettying up left to do.” A cleaning service will begin work soon.
All of the exterior doors are now under lock and key to limit access to the building. The design plan included only a few doors to maximize security. Many of the security cameras inside and out are in place.
Shelving has been installed on the first level while awaiting delivery of the millwork counters and cabinets. The shelves will be adjusted once the millwork is in place. Space has been allocated on the shelves for new and old materials to be blended.
The numerous restrooms (quite a contrast to the current library) are complete. The exterior and interior fireplaces are framed in.
Negotiations are ongoing for a proprietor for the mezzanine level coffee shop.
The target for getting the Internet up and working is the first of October. Cox will be the Internet and phone provider. Many electrical outlets have been installed throughout the library to accommodate patrons’ electronic devices.
The poles located outside the building also have electrical outlets, especially helpful during special events sponsored by the library and the town. Bollards with lighting along the sidewalk and an electronic message board at the corner of the lot are yet to be installed.
Streetlights matching those installed along Pollard Street and Lee Avenue as part of the Community Development Block Grant project will be put in place at the library.
Paving and striping of the parking lot is complete with 51 spaces available on the lot and 25 in diagonal parking on Cleveland Avenue and Pollard Street set into the lot, for a total of 76—about triple the parking available at the old library.
While most of the gray brick and the “cornucopia tan” panels have been installed on the exterior, panels which are “silver surfer” in color are yet to be added on top of what is now black insulation.
Creative Nursery and Landscaping of Cloverdale will start their work in the next couple of weeks. They are known for their work at the Hotel Roanoke, the Center in the Square Butterfly Garden, the Homestead, and Cracker Barrel.
Avis Construction, the general contractor, has been given high marks by those involved for keeping the project moving and for their foresight as it progressed.
Excitement is building among the staff and community as construction nears an end–more rapidly than most expected with fortuitous weather at the beginning of construction which allowed the interior of the building to be enclosed so work could continue during the winter months.
On their website, HBM Architects describe the Vinton Library as a 20,000 square foot building located on an entire city block in Vinton. “The site essentially acts as a gateway into the town’s historic downtown district. The building’s urban circumstance has informed its architecture in such a way that the form of the new library will truly be a transitional building – linking old and new building styles and materials, as well as old and new values and ideas. The prominent and central location of the new building, along with its community plaza and rooftop garden café, will provide a new level of vibrancy to the downtown.”