Henrico County’s plan to build a new Fairfield Area Library on North Laburnum Avenue advanced Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan of development for the project.
Construction on the two-story, 44,803-square-foot library is expected to begin in June. An opening is anticipated in October 2019. The 10-acre site is southeast of North Laburnum and Watts Lane, by the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center.
The $29 million project is being funded largely through Henrico’s 2016 bond referendum. County voters overwhelmingly approved using bonds to finance the library project, with 75 percent voting “yes.”
“In Henrico County, we are going to another level with our libraries,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Frank J. Thornton, of the Fairfield District. “I think the new Fairfield Area Library will be a great thing. Libraries are not the same libraries as when I was a student. They are totally different creatures now, and they have to be. This is the 21st century.”
The new library will feature a modern design with an open lobby, classroom and meeting space, group study areas, a digital media lab and a drive-up window, where patrons can pick up or drop off materials. The site also will feature an entry plaza, a bicycle and pedestrian connection to Harvie Road, an area for outdoor activities, parking for 220 vehicles and room for a 16,000-square-foot building addition in the future.
The existing Fairfield Area Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave., opened in 1976 and occupies 16,000 square feet.