City Seeks Public Input on Library and City Hall Design

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Thursday January 11, 2018

The City of South Burlington announced two workshops this month which will provide the public with opportunities to learn about and discuss ideas for the design of a new City Center civic building which would house a library and city hall. The workshops titled (re)IMAGINING SoBu Spaces 2020 are scheduled to be held at City Hall Thursday, January 18, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, January 20, at 10 a.m.

According to Coralee Holm, South Burlington’s director of community engagement and innovation, “Residents, business owners, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend one of the workshops and discover how libraries and city halls can transform the ways we learn, play, and work as a community.”

Outreach at the workshops will be led by Dennis Humphries, of Humphries Poli Architects. According to the city, Humphries, a library designer with national expertise in the creation of 21st century public libraries, understands the challenges of smaller city government and the opportunities of technology and creative spaces. Having designed award winning civic buildings for decades, Humphries has been the principal in charge for over 80 public library projects. The overall project will be led by Wiemann Lamphere Architects of Colchester, who recently completed the design of the new Vermont Public Radio headquarters.

Last fall, the city secured an option on land on Market Street, just east of Allard Square and south of the Rick Marcotte Central School, which cleared the way to initiate the process to bring a firm under contract for design services. The city reports that 30 percent of the library and 10 percent of the city hall project costs are eligible for Tax Increment Financing. In addition, the city has established an annual contribution into reserve funds to finance the project.

The public will be asked to vote on funding for this City Center project in November 2018. A positive vote to fund the project will clear the way to construct in 2019, with the civic center opening planned for 2020.