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Mayor Bowser Announces New Congress Heights Library to be Built at St. Elizabeths East

Thursday, July 15, 2021
New Library at Parcel 16 to Replace Parklands-Turner Library

(Washington, DC) - Today, at the groundbreaking for the new Whitman-Walker health care facility, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the new full-service library in Congress Heights will be built on Parcel 16 on the St. Elizabeths East campus. The library will replace the existing Parklands-Turner Library.

“We look forward to delivering a state-of-the-art Congress Heights Library to replace one of DC’s smallest, yet busiest libraries,” said Mayor Bowser. “The St. Elizabeths East campus is transforming into a parcel of opportunity – a place for Ward 8 residents to work, live, and now learn.”

The new larger library in Congress Heights supports the Library’s Facilities Master Plan that guides the next ten years of planning for library buildings across the city. The plan recommends addressing equity issues by replacing the library system’s smallest libraries – Deanwood, Parklands-Turner, Rosedale, and Northwest One – with full-service facilities that offer separate spaces for children, teens, and adults and include meeting spaces, study rooms, and other popular amenities.

“St. Elizabeths East is being thoughtfully transformed to reflect the interests and needs of the Congress Heights community,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “The new Congress Heights Library, along with a new full-service hospital, homeownership opportunities, and other high-quality amenities, will add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood and ensure families have access to the resources they deserve for generations to come.”

“DC Public Library is excited to build a new, full-service, library in Congress Heights to replace one of its smallest libraries at Parklands-Turner,” said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director of the DC Public Library. “This community has been lacking in study rooms, meeting spaces and other popular library amenities and we now can resolve those problems on Parcel 16. The new library in Congress Heights will address a pressing service gaps identified in DCPL's Facilities Master Plan, dramatically increasing access to library space in Ward 8.”

The DC Public Library will begin due diligence on the site and community outreach as early as this fall. Design work is expected to start in October 2022 and construction is scheduled to start in January 2025. The new Congress Heights Library is expected to open in late 2026/early 2027.  

The new library is fully funded with $20.15 million in the District’s FY2022-2027 budget.