Construction Starts on New Downtown Cary Library

Cary, NC – Construction on the new downtown Cary library, to be known as the Cary Regional Library,  started this past Friday, May 11, 2018 as tree clearing and grading got underway.

The location for the new Downtown Cary library was set in 2010 to sit at the intersection of Walnut Street, Kildaire Farm Road, with the parking deck extending to Walker Street, adjacent to the Downtown Cary Park.

Cary Downtown Library

Site plan showing the location of the library in purple with the parking deck beside it

Plans are for the library to be 30,000 square feet with three floors and will be adjacent to a 600-space parking deck. The Cary Town Council most recently voted on an amendment to the memorandum of understanding with Wake County in late February. Wake County will pick the construction bidder and design the parking deck with the Town of Cary paying around $13 million of the overall $23.7 million cost.

With construction now underway, the plans are for the new library to open in Autumn 2019. There are not yet plans announced for the existing downtown library on Academy Street and what will be done with that building or property.

Cary Downtown Library

Models of the new library

Cary Downtown Library

Models of the new library

Cary Public Information Specialist Kathryn Trogdon said there are no planned traffic changes due to construction at this time, though the Walker Street parking lot is currently closed. Also, the library’s construction does not interfere with the next phase of the adjacent Downtown Cary Park, Trogdon said, though because the consultant was only hired in recent weeks, that second phase is still in its very earliest stages.

Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of the Town of Cary.

7 replies
  1. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I agree with George and Mark – for whatever reason it seems green initiatives are always an after-thought. I would hope that the plan is to have some element of LEED certification, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go further, with clear decisions on beneficial tree plantings and going state-of-the art with energy usage/creation/storage.

    • Evan
      Evan says:

      LEED certifications certainly take into effect beneficial tree plantings, energy usage/creation/storage, and a host of other factors like where the building materials are coming from and what their embodied energy is. It’s a robust program. Having said that, sometimes it’s easier to build green without adhering to a specific certification. Solar is a no brainer on a public building. The life span of panels is 20-25 years and many systems break even in the 10th – 13th years, creating “free energy” in the 2nd half of their lifespan. It takes investment today though! Any system sizable enough to make an impact on this building would be $50k +

  2. johnny jones
    johnny jones says:

    Between this & the design firm being selected for the park, we’re on the move!! Hopefully the designs will compliment each other.

  3. George McDowell
    George McDowell says:

    The artists’ renderings show mostly small hybrid and specimen trees planted around the buildings. Is it still possible to decide to plant noble hardwoods in their places? In addition to lowering the heating and cooling costs of the structures, these grand trees will be beautiful and will have some effect on Cary’s air-pollution problem. In addition, it will add our Town’s effort to that addressing the 410+ ppm carbon in the atmosphere.

  4. Kathy Miller
    Kathy Miller says:

    This would be a great opportunity to put solar on a public building and use renewable energy to offset the cost to the library. It would set a good example for the Town as well, and make a statement about Cary’s sustainability.

    • Mark Neill
      Mark Neill says:

      Sounds like a good excuse to reach out to Tesla and see about getting one of their Powerwall units installed to power the standard exterior nighttime lighting systems of the park and library.

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