In an effort to focus attention on the redevelopment in Parking Lot 13, Montgomery County’s Department of General Services is not pursuing a design competition for the new combination and .
In the final version of what the Montgomery County Council approved in the CIP budget this spring, the design phase for the project was moved ahead to FY2013. This accelerated schedule is another reason why the Department of General Services is eliminating the competition stage and going straight to one of the several architecture firms that have contractual arrangements with the county already, according to Rob Klein, who works for the county’s Wheaton Redevelopment Program.
But not everyone is happy that things are moving so quickly.
“I think this was a real missed opportunity,” said Larysa Kurylas, a member of the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee, at the group’s June meeting. “That’s the kind of civic building that’s way more important that a Park and Planning office building,” she added.
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will occupy part of the office building that will be constructed in Parking Lot 13 during the first stage of county-directed redevelopment in downtown Wheaton.
A design competition would give people in Wheaton more reasons to take pride in their new library, Kurylas continued.
Kurylas pointed to the two libraries that recently opened in Washington, DC, as examples of how the community can become more invested in the building's design process.
What do you think? Is the county doing the right thing by expediting the design? Or should it slow down and go through a design competition? Tell us in the comments.