The Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives in April 2022.

The Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives in April 2022.

Less than a month after officially taking ownership of Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives, the Village of Pinehurst will begin the process of soliciting design services for a proposed expansion of the 58-year-old facility.

Members of the Village Council voted Tuesday to issue a “request for qualifications” in hopes of finding a suitable architectural firm to handle the project. A draft copy of the request reviewed by the council noted that the library is “small in comparison to the population served, with extremely limited program space.”

Doug Willardson, assistant village manager, told the council that applicants will be “graded on the quality of their submittal” for the project. The village, he said, will then begin talks with “the highest-rated proposer to negotiate the best price we can with them.”

“Now that we have the library as part of our village, we are excited to move forward with the next steps,” he said. “The first step is to get an architect on board to help us design an expanded library and archives.”

Proposals will be evaluated based on the “reputation, quality and experience of the firm,” according to Willardson. At the suggestion of Councilwoman Jane Hogeman, the village will also look at whether the applicant “has experience with the renovation of historic buildings.”

Jeff Sanborn, manager of Pinehurst, said the village has earmarked $400,000 for design services — an amount he described as a “placeholder number” that could change during the negotiation process.

Pinehurst began working in earnest to assume control of the library and archives, which house thousands of historical photographs, images and videos of the village, in 2018. A ceremony was held on April 18 to mark the official transfer of ownership from the Given-Tufts Organization to the village.

The Cherokee Road facility was built in the early 1960s on land donated by Richard Tufts, grandson of Pinehurst founder James Walker Tufts. Its construction was funded through an endowment created by resident Sarah Given Larson in memory of her parents, John and Irene Given.

As the only privately owned public library in North Carolina, Given Memorial spared Pinehurst’s government the expense of building and operating its own municipal library. But the village’s population is now more than 15 times larger than it was when the library first opened, and the small facility has struggled in recent years to meet the growing community’s needs.

LibraryIQ, a national consultant Pinehurst hired to help define the parameters of an adequate library for residents, recommended last year that the 7,000-square-foot facility be expanded to at least 10,000 square feet. Because the building is located in the village’s National Historic Landmark District, the firm selected to design the expansion may be required to coordinate with the National Park Service.

The village plans to complete the design and bidding process before the U.S. Open golf championship returns to Pinehurst in 2024. A contract for construction is expected to be awarded after the event.

Full coverage of Tuesday’s council meeting will appear later on ThePilot.com.

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(1) comment

Kent Misegades

So typical. “How can we grow government and send more money to our friends in crony businesses.” When will Pinehurst get buyer’s remorse? Why not follow the lead of the nice library in the old post office? Run by volunteers and they probably run in the red.

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