Roanoke County, VA (Dec 5, 2013) – Construction of the new Vinton Branch Library began at 10:30 a.m. today at 300 S. Pollard Street in Vinton, former home to Dunman Floral Supply.
Retiring Roanoke County Supervisor and current Board Chairman Mike Altizer and Vinton Mayor Brad Grose were featured speakers at a short program before beginning demolition of the old building. The existing structure will be razed starting later this month. Once the lot is cleared, the new library will be built in its place.
The new Vinton Branch Library will replace the current library on Washington Avenue, which is the oldest library in the Roanoke County Public Library system. The original structure opened in 1969 and was the first building of the post-bookmobile era. Prior to that time, the system had a small headquarters on College Avenue in Salem and relied on a converted school bus to take books into County neighborhoods.
The Washington Avenue building was smaller than its current 9,400 square feet but was expanded during reconstruction after a partial roof collapse in the 1980s. The building served its purpose until the advent of technology, specifically PCs, which relentlessly gobbled up floor space and crowded out books and even people. The computer lab, printers, and other equipment also combined to overburden the infrastructure.
The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors recognized the need to update the libraries, including Vinton, and began to systematically address the issue through a series of construction projects. After South County and Glenvar libraries were completed, the Board set aside funds for design development for Vinton and then approved bond funding for actual construction.
The architectural renderings tell the story: this new 20,000-square-foot building looks to the future, a concept that was requested many times during the three public meetings that were held during the design process. The new library will be a combination of the things people in Vinton identified as important to them, as well as the features Roanoke County believes all our libraries should have. The result will be a place where people, books, and technology all have room to coexist in a great community space. The timeline currently calls for completion by December 2015, weather permitting.