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County Leaders Get Earful About Proposed Pike Library Move

by ARLnow.com June 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm 2,427 5 Comments

Update on 6/18 — The proposal to move the library has been withdrawn.

County leaders got an earful about the proposed relocation of the Columbia Pike Branch Library at a town hall meeting last night.

“An angry standing room crowd” holding “signs and banners” loudly engaged library and county officials at the Arlington Career Center, a resident who attended the meeting tells us.

Career Center and Patrick Henry Elementary School students were among those speaking out against the move. Officials in attendance included new County Manager Michael Brown and Library Director Diane Kresh.

The proposal to move the library from Walter Reed Drive to Arlington Mill Drive, further down Columbia Pike, has attracted a torrent of criticism from those who live near the library. One post about the move on the Arlington Library Blog has attracted more than 100 comments, most of them negative.

Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier, who also attended the town hall, had this to say about the meeting:

Last night’s meeting was productive. We will continue this conversation with the community on whether it makes sense to move the Columbia Pike Branch library from its current location on Walter Reed Drive to the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike. Staff will continue to listen to the community until the County Manager feels he can make a recommendation to the Board. The decision on the design of Arlington Mill can be made without a final decision on whether the library branch should be moved. We will take as much time as needed to make a good recommendation to the Board on the future of the branch library, a library meant to serve all of Columbia Pike.

The Sun Gazette reports that change-of-government supporters took advantage of the public anger and gathered “several dozen” petition signatures outside the Career Center.

Photo via the Library Blog.

  • Marty

    The County’s proposal to move the Library almost (3/4 of a mile) to the Falls Church line is a terrible idea since they are adding density (hundreds of apartments including The Halstead, Sienna Park and Penrose Square)next door to the location of the existing library. And the existing library is next door to Patrick Henry Elementary School and The Arlington Career Center! Residents of the surrounding neighborhood are furious about it.

  • Madison

    Yes, I am very angry about the potential move too. Proximity to amenities like the library is one of the reason I moved to the neighborhood.

  • ACE

    At this point I am so disgusted with the way the powers-that-be are acting — as though our opinions don’t count, and as though Arlington is just another “FarmVille” for them to play with.

  • John

    There Facebook group for those who want to keep our library http://bit.ly/cplibrary
    Some pictures and eyewitness accounts have been posted.

  • DT

    Folks against this move may be joyful, but it is a “loss” not a “win.” Whether anyone cares to hear this, the truth is this was the best shot for a future new library for the area. The Career Center building (whih houses the library) is owned by the school system, not the County. It will be renovated, and the library will lose space. In case you never visited the current building–it is horrible and will continue to be that way. When the “new career center” building is built, the neighborhood will lose much of the current library. Enjoy the crummy building, enjoy the downsize, and enjoy your hollow victory. You lost on the only chance for a new library anytime soon.


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