South Orange awards $1.2 million library contract to Andrew Berman Architect

The South Orange Village Board of Directors tonight approved a resolution awarding a $1,196,357 contract to Andrew Berman Architect of New York for “architectural consulting services associated with the planning, design and administration of contracts for the renovation, repair and improvement of Phases 2, 3 and 4 of the South Public Library complex Orange “. Read the full resolution below.

The Connett building, part of the SOPL complex, will be connected via a link to the library currently in operation

From the Orange Sud public library:

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The South Orange Public Library’s quest for a transformative makeover of the current facility is accelerating. Library trustees voted unanimously Sept. 20 to hire award-winning New York-based firm Andrew Berman Architect.

The design process will begin immediately and is expected to move quickly, as extensive planning, including considerable public input, has already taken place. The company will be responsible for improving accessibility, functionality, durability and adaptability, while inspiring customers with a dynamic and forward-looking design. Design development is expected to be complete by spring 2023.

“Andrew Berman has distinguished himself through his ability to create inspiring design solutions for complex institutional programs and sites,” said Library Board Chair Hildy Karp. “The firm easily met all of our criteria, including having extensive library experience and a record of exceeding client expectations.”

Luckily, Andrew Berman already knows the village and the library, having spent his middle and high school years in South Orange. “I still remember going through all the art books on the shelves and borrowing LP records,” Berman said. “Through the design, the importance of the library should be able to be felt more emphatically in the local context of the village… The reimagined library should be accessible, welcoming and foster the desire to discover and navigate for oneself. “

Library trustees selected Berman following a competitive and thorough review process conducted by a nine-member building advisory committee comprised of library board members, library manager Jill Faherty, village administrators, village staff and three community volunteer architects. The committee was unanimous in its recommendation to the library board.

“Reimagining the library will be a game changer for the programming, services and spaces we are able to offer our patrons,” Faherty said. “Everyone at South Orange will want to see and be seen at the library. We can’t wait to get started!

With a projected price of $14-17.5 million, the project only became feasible once SOPL secured a $6.5 million grant from the state in January 2022. Village management , which enthusiastically supports the modernization of the library, has pledged to match the state grant for a total of up to $16.5 million. Additional funds will be raised by the Foundation for the South Orange Public Library, with continued support for the collections and programs of the Friends of the South Orange Public Library.

“The library is destined to become the civic and cultural centerpiece of a newly thriving downtown. We’ve been working on this for quite a while. I am confident that in Andrew Berman Architect we have selected the perfect team for the job,” said South Orange Village Trustee Karen Hilton, who is also a Trustee on the Public Library Foundation Board of Trustees. of South Orange.


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