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Posted at 3:05 PM ET, 06/18/2010

Columbia Pike library move halted

By Washington Post editors

Columbia Pike Branch Library in Arlington will stay put.

Michael Brown, Arlington’s county manager, released a statement Friday saying he was withdrawing a proposal to relocate the branch at South Walter Reed Drive, near 8th Street South, and move it about 1.5 miles away up Columbia Pike at the future Arlington Mills Community Center.

“The library will continue to offer services at this branch, at its current location, with no change in scope or format,” Brown said in the statement.

The decision follows a contentious town hall meeting Wednesday. More than 200 residents attended, with nearly all speaking against the proposal.

“Public sentiment was strong and clear," Brown said. "People are passionate about this facility in its current location.”

The county had proposed moving the frequently-used library into the proposed, five-story Arlington Mills Community Center. The community center is slated to also have a fitness center, a senior center, a game room and other common areas.

The county plan would have dedicated about 10,000 square feet to the library and taken advantage of those shared common areas and computer rooms for a more efficient layout and “a better library for the Columbia Pike corridor,” said Martha Allgeier, deputy county manager.

Brown’s statement said planning for the new community center would continue, “framed by the existing community proposals and operating budget constraints, for any additional space that will be available in the Arlington Mill Community Center.”

The county's goal is to open the center by 2013. It is expected to cost $34 million.

-- Christy Goodman

By Washington Post editors  | June 18, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  | Tags:  arlington, columbia pike branch library  
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