Library architect selected

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

GATESVILLE – An architectural firm has been chosen to take the proposed Gates County Public Library to the next level of development.

In a special called meeting last week, the Gates County Board of Commissioners selected LS3P Associates, LTD to provide architectural services to the project.

LS3P – founded in 1963 and with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, Charleston, SC and Columbia, SC – won out over 310 Architecture and Fuller Architecture. Those three were the finalists chosen by the commissioners among the eight firms responding to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) put out by county officials.  The other five were West & Stem Architects, MBAJ Architecture; William H. Dove, HB+M Architects and ADW Architects.

According to the LS3P website, the firm has worked on numerous projects over the years, including building and renovation work to 22 libraries in North and South Carolina.

“The project will begin with a feasibility study and community input meetings,” Gates County Manager Toby Chappell said.

Chappell added that a library study committee will also be formed.

“The process will take us in a direction where the size and scope of the project will be determined,” Chappell stated.

For now, the county has entered into a contract with LS3P for the initial stage of work. The actual amount of the architectural costs will not be known until the size of the building has been determined.

The placement of the new building is also yet to be determined.

“The size of the building, what it will look like and where it needs to be built will be determined by the architect once all the public input has been received,” Chappell said in a recent interview. “None of this has yet to be decided; nothing is yet set in stone.”

The current Gates County Public Library in Gatesville remains located in the old Gates County Courthouse, one constructed in 1836. The courthouse, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, currently has several structural problems, not uncommon for a building nearly 175 years old.

Plans to renovate the existing facility, using USDA funds, were ruled out in February by a USDA engineer that visited the current library to determine the feasibility of the project. The engineer was of the opinion that it was not a prudent investment for USDA to invest in renovations to the current library.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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