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Construction Will Soon Begin On $17 Million Library

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Construction will soon be underway on a 22,000 square foot, $17 million library in Northwest Washington, after a five-year fight over development in Tenleytown.

Not your typical, quiet librarian, CEO of D.C.'s Libraries Ginnie Cooper let out her characteristic cheer at the ground breaking of Tenley Library.

The energy-efficient library at Wisconsin Avenue and Albemarle Street will be lined with vertical fins that allow in a lot of light and reduce heat absorption.

For five years, this site has been a vacant rocky lot and the neighborhood has had to make do with a small temporary library. One reason for this: a protracted fight over whether to include retail space or possibly an apartment complex.

John Hill, president of the D.C. Library Board, says the recession helped quiet the dispute. "There was no expectation that anyone was going to build on top of this library right away, and that actually worked to our benefit to be able to go ahead with existing plans and not have the library wait for future development," says Hill.

So for now, swords have been wrought into construction shovels, but as the economy heats up, so may the battle.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports...

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