Envisioned to be more than a hub for learning, Varina Area Library is a state-of-the-art building designed by BCWH (now QuinnEvans) to be a place for individual transformation and community advancement. Replacing a small branch library, the 43,955 sq. ft. facility features an updated collection, digital media lab, drive-up service window, meeting rooms, collaboration spaces, and even a demonstration kitchen.

As designed, one portion of the building is above grade while another is two stories below. The building is on shallow spread footings with a design bearing pressure of 3,000 psf. The below-grade, cast-in-place basement walls and above-grade walls consist of structural steel and light gauge metal stud framing. The basement floor and building floor slabs are a reinforced concrete slab on grade, and the second level is slab on deck. A mechanical yard was constructed to the west as well as two site retaining walls. A fire access lane was constructed adjacent to the east and west sides of the proposed library, as were new asphalt pavements for access roads and parking.

Schnabel’s work involved geotechnical observation, testing, and Special Inspections to support the construction of the new library. These services covered earthwork and foundations, cast-in-place concrete, bituminous paving, structural steel, light gauge metal framing, and project management.