Anacostia Community Design Meeting Meeting Summary and Compilation of Public Comments

Meeting Date: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007, 6 -8 p.m.

Location: Anacostia Interim Library, 1800 Good Hope Rd. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20020

Meeting Purpose: Public meeting to provide the community with an opportunity to help shape the design of the new Anacostia Neighborhood Library Branch. The design team presented a brief overview of the conceptual design for the new library. Following this, the design team and DC Public Library (DCPL) staff were available to discuss the project in greater detail and answer questions. This summary includes written questions from the comment cards and comments made during a facilitated discussion.

Meeting Format: Presentation and interactive workshop format.

  • The presentation included an overview of project implementation and a discussion of conceptual design options.
  • A facilitated discussion allowed participants to provide comments and ask questions of DCPL staff and the design team.

Attendees: Twenty-six community members added their names to the sign-in sheets. Ginnie Cooper, Archie Williams, Jeff Bonvechio and the Anacostia Interim Library staff represented the DC Public Library. Representatives of the DC Library Board of Trustees included Guitele Nicoleau and Brenda Richardson. The following members of the CirclePoint consulting team attended the meeting: W. Steve Lee and Tosin Durotoye.


Summary of Comments From Facilitated Discussion

Library Use Issues

  • Literacy room is important.
  • Conference room could be used for community events.
  • I would like to see a space where teens can build useful things or find useful purposes for their hands.
  • Childcare facility is important.
  • Need space for youth to learn creative skills.
  • Will there be a sound room?
  • I would like to see a space for adult learners and literacy courses.
  • Need computer lab (training area).

Library User Issues
Safety and Security

  • Security is a major concern.
  • Security and safety considerations must be made when designing the new Anacostia Library.
  • Need small security measures.

Miscellaneous

  • The highest percentage of children in the District live in Anacostia and careful consideration must be made to accommodate their needs at the new library.
  • How will patrons access the proposed conference room after hours if it is located in the rear of the building?
  • Will conference rooms in new library be accessible after hours?

Library Design Issues (Exterior)
Parking

  • How many parking spaces will be available for library patrons and how many will be reserved for library staff?
  • There is a need for parking.
  • Is the parking lot going to be gated and will building be made secure with the use of surveillance cameras and police/security booth?
  • Accessing the proposed parking lot through the alleyway could create some safety concerns.
  • The idea of a well-lighted parking space and greenery sounds great.
  • Are there more opportunities for parking?
  • How many parking spaces will there be for the disabled?
  • The new library will not be a “hub” for the community if it doesn’t have more than 18 parking spaces and people don’t feel secure.

Safety and Security

  • For safety reasons, there must be windows overlooking proposed parking lot.
  • Security fences should be functional and beautiful .
  • Need lights all around the building to deter criminal activity.
  • Security lights cannot be too harsh; otherwise they will be disruptive to homeowners living on the perimeter.
  • There should be a lot of lighting around perimeter and no fences.
  • Believer in defensible space and don’t think a prison-like fence is needed to keep the new library safe.
  • Security measures must be state of the art.
  • Please do not engulf our library as if crime will always be here.

Green Space

  • Would like to see intensive preservation of green space.
  • Pay close attention to the preservation of green space.

Miscellaneous

  • New library design should complement existing neighborhood.
  • Will alleyway near proposed library site be taken through eminent domain?
  • Be careful with how alleyway space is used.
  • Is the New Anacostia Library building going to be two stories tall?
  • Concerned about distance of proposed library from Good Hope Road S.E. (planning and zoning restrictions).

Library Design Issues (Interior)

  • Would like to see library space for local artists to display their work.
  • A lot of lighting and windows with panoramic views would be ideal for a state-of-the-art appearance.
  • What is the color scheme for the new library building?
  • Firmly believe that men and women restrooms should have an equal number of stalls.
  • Put conference room on top floor and not in the basement.
  • Conference room in the basement is not attractive.
  • Underground parking should be considered (better security).

Design Process

  • Why is it going to take so long to build a new library?
  • Will proposed Anacostia Library plan actually come to fruition?
  • When did advertising for the public meeting take place?
  • Use the DCPL Web site to provide overviews of the meeting and architectural proposal.
  • Are the project consultants District residents?
  • I am a dynamo for Benning and would like to assist with communication.
  • Are there any Ward 8 or Ward 7 residents on the project team?
  • Have to integrate the community’s needs with the client’s need.

Miscellaneous

  • Concerned about traffic on Good Hope Road S.E.
  • Will District residents be working on the Anacostia Library project?
  • Need childcare at public meetings so all residents can attend.
  • Modernization of building is important.
  • Should think of ways to incorporate the history of Anacostia into the library design.
  • Should consider installing a plaque to commemorate Mrs. Glover, who fought to keep the library open and served as a Trustee.
  • No public land must be given for private use.
  • What is a play lot?
  • Young people are making area around U and T streets S.E. dirty.
  • Large conference room should be built above ground.

Summary of Comment Card Comments

Library Design Issues (Exterior)
Landscaping and Green Space

  • In an urban area such as this, landscaping is very important. Would like to see trees, shrubs and flowers surrounding the new library.
  • Would like to see beautiful landscaping, especially if there is a setback on Good Hope Road S.E.
  • Do not plant grass that will need to be mowed.
  • Would love to see a vegetated roof with an overlook so people can see the green roof.
  • Would love to see all native plants and flowing tall grasses surrounding the new library.
  • A vegetated exterior wall would be awesome and a first for the District.

Miscellaneous

  • Sound barriers and street noise should be considered.
  • Please make this building more than one story tall. The community needs a beacon!
  • Surrounding development will not want to look out on a blank roof. Make this building so unique that even the roof isn’t plain.
  • This community needs to have tons of windows on its buildings and the library should have a few.
  • Lighting should be a primary focus for the design of the new library.
  • Give the new library an urban, not suburban feel.