Board Approves Central Library Upgrades

Published on October 21, 2017

(Note: The "October 2017 Regular County Board Meeting Agenda Highlights" release issued Oct. 21, 2017 included an incorrect link to this release).

  • Creating lively, collaborative spaces, improving accessibility

  • Library to remain open throughout year-long project

  • $1.7 million contract approved


The Arlington County Board today approved a $1.7 million contract to begin upgrading the County's much-loved and much-used Central Library this fall.

"This is the most significant upgrade to our Central Library space in decades," County Board Chair Jay Fisette said. "Generations of Arlingtonians have enjoyed our Library's many resources — this refresh will help ensure that it remains a relevant, vital resource for residents of all ages and all interests."

Within the existing space, new meeting rooms, an updated "tech-central" area and a multi-purpose maker lab, a community-based space where people can share knowledge and tools to create together, are planned. Public computer stations will be redesigned, and reading and study areas will welcome patrons with streamlined furniture. Media shelving and reference stations will be modernized. Electrical systems will be upgraded, and ADA improvements will be made.

"The Central Library upgrades are welcome and necessary," said Library Director Diane Kresh. "We are committed to creating lively and collaborative spaces to meet the evolving needs of our community."

[caption id="attachment_13803" align="alignright" width="300"]maker lab Central Library upgrades will include a maker lab.[/caption]

The Board voted unanimously to approve the contract with TMG Construction Corporation, the lowest bidder in a competitive bidding process. To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 24 on the Agenda for the October 21, 2017 Regular County Board Meeting.

Library to remain open during project


The Library will remain open throughout the project, which is set to begin in the fall of 2017 and last up to a year.

Building upgrades and design elements include:

  • Three new meeting rooms and updated reading room area on the 1st floor

  • New multi-purpose technology and maker lab equipped with a tool and storage room, work benches, design areas and computer stations on the 2nd floor

  • Redesigned public PC stations

  • New reference desk stations, furniture and media shelving

  • Relocation of pick-up area for holds

  • Book store for Friends of the Arlington Public Library

  • Energy efficient electrical fixtures and new power supply outlets for public use

  • Semi-transparent glass walls, private yet contemporary

  • ADA upgrades: redesign of ramp in front of the main parking lot and addition of protective railing underneath the staircase of the first floor


The total project budget is $2,885,690 and includes project management, permits, design, construction and furniture costs.

The project's goals were informed by public work sessions and surveys around "The Future of Libraries" in 2011/2012.

Learn more by visiting library.arlingtonva.us/central-upgrades.