Lamond-Riggs Library Final Community Meeting

Lamond-Riggs Library Final Community Meeting

Questions and Answers

Lamond-Riggs Library Community Webex Meeting, May 20, 2020

In Attendance: Approximately 40 members of the Lamond-Riggs Library community 


Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director, DC Public Library
Jaspreet Pahwa, Assistant Director, Capitol Planning & Construction, DC Public Library
Peter Cook, Design Principal, HGA
Adrienne McCray, Principal, Lee and Associates
Jane Dedering, Senior Designer, HGA
Todd Buffington, Project Manager, Consigli Construction
Emily Jelinek, Senior Associate, HGA

Opening Introduction and Slide Presentation

Richard Reyes-Gavilan welcomed everyone and then discussed the evening’s agenda and the project schedule. Peter Cook then began the slide presentation. Following the presentation, the team took questions from the community.

Questions and Comments

What kind of abatement is needed before demolition can take place?

The amount of hazardous material in the building is minimal. There is some flooring on the first floor and in the hall on the second floor. There are some mechanical fittings in the ceiling. Finally, there is a large underground storage tank behind the building.


Will PEPCO be moving the utilities underground as part of the site work?

The new building will have underground wiring. So there is no confusion, the underground wiring is different from the power lines running to the building. The existing overhead power lines running in front of the library to the building will remain just as shown in the architectural renderings.


Are there charging outlets near the tables for phones and other electronics? 

Having enough outlets has been a priority on this project. We have placed furniture near outlets along the walls. We are also looking into providing outlets in tables. There will be plenty of places for charging throughout the library.


Will there be a green roof or solar panels on the new library building?

The new building will have a highly reflective solar roof, which is an environmentally sustainable approach that is very cost effective. It will not have solar panels nor will it be vegetative.


What are some of the other LEED features on the project?

The building exterior and the energy action system are both high performing systems. The plumbing will have low-flow fixtures. The bioretention system in the back will allow us to slow down and treat the rainwater and filter it before it goes into the city’s system. We will be using sustainable products with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as well as high performing and recycled materials throughout the building.


Are there public restrooms on both levels?

Yes, there are public restrooms on both levels near the stairs. There is also a family restroom in the children’s room.


What does ‘marketplace’ mean in terms of a library’s design?

Marketplace is a retail term that has been used in library planning for quite a long time. It’s where there is a lot of information. The marketplace is where you can pick up holds, where new materials are displayed, where a visitor can find a monitor with information on activities taking place in the library as well as an area displaying community information. It’s a highly active central place.


Will there be parking on Kennedy Street?

The opening to the library’s parking spaces will be on Kennedy Street. Library visitors can park along Kennedy Street as long as they respect the residential parking rules.


How will construction notices be distributed to the community?

The team will distribute notices to immediate neighbors prior to certain activities such as street or sidewalk closures. We will push out information via the neighborhood listservs, Friends of the Library and the ANC. The library’s communications team and community engagement team will also have a list of contacts to notify of any construction issues.


What is the traffic control plan during construction?

We will be sharing any street or sidewalk closures with the community as early as possible. We try really hard to be good neighbors when we do these projects. We work closely with our contractors to ensure that they comply with all required sound levels and hours of operation. Also, there will be a construction supervisor who community members will be able to contact with any urgent concerns.


Will there be an electric vehicle charging station in the library’s parking lot?

No, but because this is a LEED project there will be designated parking for fuel efficient electric vehicles.


Will there be an exterior sign, as shown in the architect’s rendering? Will there be other outdoor signage?

The sign shown in the rendering is a placeholder. We will work with the DC Public Library to confirm the size and placement of the letters. There could be signage in the parking lot, wayfaring signage and possibly educational signage explaining things about the property such as the bioretention area and why it’s important.


Will there be one entrance to the parking lot? Or will the two existing entrances remain?

There will be one entrance. The current parking lot has two openings - an entrance close to the corner of South Dakota Avenue and Kennedy Street and an exit further up the block along Kennedy Street. The entrance closer to South Dakota Ave. is not to code because it’s too close to the intersection. The opening now used as an exit will be widened and used to both enter and exit the parking lot.


Will the sidewalk on South Dakota Avenue be closed during construction?

We will try to leave the sidewalk open as much as possible. If we need to close it we will coordinate the closing with DDOT and obtain the permits and follow the city’s regulations.


Is this project fully funded and has the construction schedule been impacted by coronavirus?

The project is fully funded and there has been no impact on the construction schedule of any of the library’s projects to-date from Coronavirus.


Is there anything interesting from the existing building that will be saved during demolition?

No, we are not planning on saving anything.


Why not place solar panels over the parking lot?

In achieving our LEED Certification, we have prioritized elements that provide the greatest return on investment. We have tried to maximize as much library space with our budget and I think we have here the most sustainable design while not compromising in the slightest on library programming.


Will there be landscaping of the sidewalk treebox areas?

The ground between the curb and the sidewalk will be a lawn area and there will be a request for Urban Forestry to plant more trees in the treebox. The area between the sidewalk and the building is what we will be treating with new landscaping.


Is the second porch still part of the library design?

There’s the patio area on the first floor and the porch on the second floor.


How durable and sustainable is the furniture? Especially considering the increased cleaning because of the coronavirus?

Regardless of COVID-19 we stress durable, easily cleanable furniture that will last as long as possible. Our buildings get a tremendous amount of use. We anticipate 200,000 people a year coming into the new Lamond-Riggs Library, so we need materials that are easy to clean and are durable.


Alternative Tech refers to the need to reduce the carbon footprint so the city can reduce pollutants to improve the health of the residents. I thought the city had alternative energy requirements for new construction?

The project is fully compliant with the city’s sustainability requirements. We do not have any onsite renewable energy.


What LEED level will the building obtain?

We are striving for LEED 4, which is a new benchmark (formerly known as LEED Silver).


How many total parking spaces are being planned?

There will be nine total parking spaces.


How many accessible parking spaces are being planned?

There will be one accessible parking space. We believe that is what is required by code. We will confirm the code requirements; if needed, we have room to put in another accessible space.


Will you share the furniture options with the public before making the final selection?

We typically choose furniture farther along in the process. Once those selections are made, we will share them with the community. We have received a lot of input on the appearance of the interior spaces and we choose the interior furnishings to compliment the building’s design.


Are all the restrooms accessible?



Are the balcony and porch covered?

The first floor porch is open, but is shaded by the trees. The second floor balcony is covered.


I would like someone to address the overall counter heights, moveable furniture and wheelchair maneuverability as far as ADA

All new construction for DC Government must be built in strict compliance with accessibility codes and regulations, so that it is readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. The building will be fully ADA compliant.


As far as accessible parking spaces, there should be one regular parking space and one that is van accessible.

As we mentioned earlier, we will be confirming the requirements for accessible parking spaces.


Will you coordinate sidewalk closures with the Cafritz project across the street to ensure that we do not end up with a situation where both sides of South Dakota Avenue are closed at the same time?

The City coordinates the sidewalk closures and we will do what we can to ensure there is no undue hardship.

D.C. does not do a great job of keeping the grounds mowed so I would encourage the library to plant the treebox area. It would be a shame to have this beautiful building marred by overgrown grass along the sidewalk.

If solar is installed the building can create income -- please consider all options to moving to non-polluting energy solutions.