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Plans for new Warrenton library under study

Monday, Mar. 30 | By James Ivancic
Sheree Sherer checks out books for Diane and Tom Bevis at the Warrenton Library. A new home for the library at a different location is under study, one that will provide enough floor space and parking. Fauquier Times Staff Photo / Randy Litzinger
The idea of a new Warrenton public library sharing space with an office building on Alexandria Pike is getting a closer look by a committee considering whether it should be one building or two as well as floor space needs, ingress and egress and parking.

BKV Group of Minneapolis, Minn., is conducting a “massing” study to help determine if the joint use project will work on the property at 156 Alexandria Pike across from Eva Walker Park. The current library building at 11 Winchester St. is considered to be too small with too little parking for current and future needs. Funds are in the county's capital improvements budget for a new library.

BKV representatives Jack Borman and Mark Manetti presented three site concepts March 23 to members of the Warrenton Library Planning Group, which includes Library Director Maria Del Rosso, Fauquier County Library Board Chairwoman Patricia White, Warrenton Vice Mayor Sunny Reynolds, County Supervisors Peter Schwartz and Chris Granger, County Administrator Paul McCulla, and Fred Austin, representing SGF Brothers Corp., the owner of the property.

One of the concepts envisions separate two-story buildings for the library and office building separated by green space and parking in back in a single lot for 183 vehicles. The second has 30,000 square ft. ground floor space with two floors measuring 15,000 square ft. apiece above with a 153-space parking lot wrapped around two sides of the building. The third envisions a single four-story with the library occupying the first two floors with a 171-parking lot wrapped around three sides of the building. Each floor would be 15,000 square ft. in size.

Under any of the scenarios, most of the building will face Alexandria Pike with one side facing John Mann Street. The town envisions that intersection serving as the gateway to Warrenton.

The committee March 23 discussed the number of points of vehicular entry and exit, configuration of parking space and green space.

One concept just has a single curb cut to the property on John Mann Street with none on Alexandria Pike. Austin said he thinks more than one point of entry and exit. He added that “parking for a common building is always an issue” with parking space shared among multiple users. Parking needs of both the business tenants and the library are being assessed.

Committee members also discussed whether utility lines could be put underground. McCulla said that he will approach Dominion Power about that.

Having a coffee shop as a ground floor or a retail tenant of another sort also appealed to the committee members.

The meeting at the Warren Green Building was one of a series of planned for every two weeks that will culminate with a presentation of a draft study on June 1 and a final draft on June 30.

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