Mayor Vincent C. Gray Celebrates Demolition of Old Woodridge Library to Make Way for State-of-the-Art Facility

Urges More Residents to Help Shape the Renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan celebrated the demolition of the old Woodridge Library. Both leaders praised the community’s involvement in the planning of the new Woodridge Library.
 
Mayor Gray and Reyes-Gavilan also urged residents across the District to take the opportunity to provide input into the planning process for renovations to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
 
“The new Woodridge Library, like the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, will serve the community – so it’s crucial that the community provide as much input as possible so these new facilities serve the needs of all our residents,” Mayor Gray said. “The Woodridge Library will be great because its design will reflect the input that area residents provided, and I am optimistic that we can achieve something similar for the District’s flagship library when it is renovated.”
 
“The number of categories of resources and activities a community needs a library for is expanding, and the building has to support books as well as rapidly changing technology,” said Reyes-Gavilan. “Because so much of what libraries do is changing, community engagement helps ensure that new buildings meet current and future needs. Thanks to our partnership here, the new Woodridge Library will offer District residents world-class library services that can change as the ways we read and learn change.”
 
While the new Woodridge Library was being designed, DCPL representatives attended numerous neighborhood meetings to hear from the community what library services were most important. In addition, the architecture team of Wiencek + Associates and Bing Thom Architects attended four meetings hosted by the Friends of the Woodridge Library to review the designs.
 
The new Woodridge Library will open in 2015. It will be 20,000 square feet and feature separate spaces for adults, teens and children; 40,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and other library materials; comfortable seating for 200 customers; 40 public-access computers and free Wi-Fi Internet access; a large programming room for up to 100 people; and two conference rooms for up to 14 people. It will also be the first library to have a roof terrace that will also serve as a space for library programming.
 
During construction, the Woodridge Interim Library is operating three blocks south of the old library at 1790 Douglas Street NE. Updates on the construction of the new library will be shared with the public on the Woodridge Library construction blog.
 
Coakley Williams, Inc. and Blue Skye Development, LLC have partnered to build the new library under the Library’s Mentor-Protege program. Developed with the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development, the program creates opportunities for smaller firms to gain experience working on government contracts. The total budget for design and construction is $16.5 million.
 
Providing Input on Martin Luther King Jr. Library Renovations
 
Since last fall, more than 2,000 people have shared their ideas for what’s possible in a renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and what it would take to make the new facility a spectacular central library for the District. That feedback is being incorporated into a preliminary design to be presented on May 19.
 
Using an online crowdsourcing platform, the public is encouraged to provide input on what the renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s spaces and services should look like for teens, children, adults, people with disabilities, D.C. history, meetings, and more. The library has also hosted focus groups, collected surveys, and held community meetings and presentations.