Report: Second Architectural Design Meeting; Third Community Meeting in Ward Eight
On June 30, 2009, approximately fifty Ward Eight residents saw the proposed Washington Highlands Library designs (DCPL has not yet publicly confirmed attendance numbers.)
There was at least one ANC Commissioner from every Ward Eight Advisory Neighborhood Commission in attendance.
Ms. Brenda Richardson was also there, briefly, as a member of the Board of Library Trustees and staffer with Councilmember Marion Barry's office.
There were a variety of DC residents there representing groups like the District Dynamos, The Washington Highlands Library Friends & Young Friends, Ward Eight for Practical & Sensible Design, and many community leaders like Mrs. Jackie Ward of Ward Eight Clean and Green... all there to greet Mr. David Adjaye, the architect, and DCPL library staff.
At this meeting, ANC Commissioners from ANC-8D and ANC-8E, attempted to confirm if Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper had received the ANC letter dated late-May asking DCPL to halt the design process until more meaningful engagement is had with Ward Eight ANC's.
Chief Cooper didn't recall seeing it, pointing to Mr. Archie Williams, DCPL Intergovernmental Liaison, while coyly retiring to the back of the room. She hid there for most of the meeting. ANC Commissioners made sure to give their resolution to halt the process to Williams.
For most of the rest of the evening, Mr. Jeff Bonvechio, DCPL Capital Construction Manager, tried to understand the myriad of suggestions, ideas, concerns coming from the community. After the first several points were raised, it became clear that the community had deep concerns about the library plans and process, so Bonvechio asked Martha Socaccio, DCPL communications staffer, to break out the butcher block paper and take notes. These notes have been published on DCPL's website here.
For the Dynamos, it was a welcome sight seeing the community be heard by Jeff Bonvechio and Martha Socaccio, both seemingly intent on making sure to record the sense of concern by Ward Eight residents. This good feeling is dampened by the fact that limited notes from the meeting were made public on August 28, 2009, nearly eight weeks after the meeting.
* What's happened during those two months?
* How were neighborly concerns listened to and incorporated in the designs?
* How come no one from DCPL has ever formally shown the plans to ANC-8D or any other Ward Eight ANC?
* Why is DCPL trying to get Zoning variances without the thumbs up from the community?
For ANC resolution asking DCPL to halt the process until more meaningful engagement is given by DCPL to the public,
* Contact, Commissioner Theresa Jones, Chair of ANC 8D
* Contact, Commissioner Kay Armstead, ANC-8E
Library Renaissance Project -- Press release about June 30, 2009 Meeting.