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FairfaxVienna library/parking proposal takes another step forward

Vienna library/parking proposal takes another step forward

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A planned Fairfax County/town of Vienna project to build a new Patrick Henry Library and a 209-space parking garage advanced further Jan. 24 when the Vienna Town Council unanimously approved $663,000 for design work.

In addition to a new, larger library at 101 Maple Ave., E., the project will feature a shared public-parking structure with 125 spaces intended for library users and 84 for the general public.

The Council in June 2020 approved a design-and-construction-development agreement with the county for the project. Under the pact, the town is on the hook for $5.05 million, including 30 percent of design costs (up to $850,000) and 10 percent of construction expenses (up to $4.2 million).

Town officials have $5.3 million to put toward that tally, including $3 million that the town borrowed in 2020 and $2.3 million that will be coming from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

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Vienna officials could back out of the project, but not without some financial pain. If they pull the ripcord at the end of the concept-design phase, the town would lose 15 percent of its design payment. If they get cold feet within five days of completion of the design-development phase, slated to occur in summer 2023, the town would forfeit half of the design payment.

(County officials also have an opt-out ability. They may end the contract with the town if the county does not receive all of the necessary zoning approvals, but return half the design payment to the town.)

The new library and parking garage may not exceed 35 feet tall under the town’s zoning. County officials in March will return with three conceptual designs for the project. Both parties agreed an excellent, visually appealing design is needed for such a prominent corner in the town’s center.

“We need to have a design that really speaks to the town of Vienna,” said Council member Ray Brill Jr.

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