CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULED TO BEGIN FOR THE NEW MARY D. PRETLOW ANCHOR BRANCH
Norfolk, VA (March 1, 2006) – Norfolk Public Library and the City of Norfolk will begin construction of the new Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch library in March 2006. The new Anchor Branch will open in August 2007. On March 8, 2006, Mayor Paul Fraim and City Council Members will celebrate the revitalization of Norfolk’s library system at the site of the old Pretlow Branch Library, 9640 Granby Street. Sun Bay Contracting of Virginia Beach was awarded the contract to build the new Library.
The new Anchor Branch will feature:The Library will feature two distinct areas for Norfolk youths. The teen area will be known as the Teen Zone. It will have 20 computers, a big screen television, and a music listening center. "I can't wait to use this center. I will travel across town to go there," says a teen patron. The 10,000 square foot children's library and early childhood learning center will be located on the second floor.
This children's area will be unlike any other children's library in Norfolk. It will have 20 children’s computers, a baby toddler playscape, and developmentally appropriate toys and activities for kids from birth through 10 years-old. It will also offer a large programming room for children.
"We are building a library that will meet the needs of Norfolk residents today and tomorrow. This new design increases the space designated for the children's area, providing the tools needed for the library to help parents prepare their children to enter school ready to read," says Norman Maas, the Director of Norfolk Public Library. Building the new Pretlow Branch Library is the first step in fulfilling the goals and objectives of a 1998 study prepared by Providence Associates. This study called for the development of four new anchor branches and a new downtown Central Library to meet the needs of residents and improve NPL's service.
The lead architect, Ed Lazaron, from Design Collaborative, Chris Smith and Sam Russo from the City of Norfolk Public Works Department, and Ray Jennings of Ray Jennings Interior Design have worked on this project for 3 years. These three gentlemen along with Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas and Company, and Siska/Aurand Landscape Architects worked together to develop these plans based on information gathered from the public, city officials, and NPL staff.
Pretlow Branch Library re-located to a temporary location, 120 Balview Avenue on
April 1, 2005. “This location will allow us to provide full service during the construction period,’ says Yvonne Bradley-Hilliard, Public Services Administrator for Norfolk Public Library. The temporary site offers space for a meeting room and plenty of parking. Operating hours, programming, and computer availability will remain the same.
To view the Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library’s renderings and floor plans visit Norfolk Public Library’s web site, www.npl.lib.va.us.