The Albemarle County Police want to spend $350k to renovate the library/depot.
The Crozet Gazette have an extensive story this month and Ryan at the Newsplex did a story last night and J. Reynolds Hutchins at the Daily Progress had a nice story yesterday as well.
There’s a good discussion the RealCrozetVA Facebook page (comments embedded after the jump here).
What do you think? Police station? Train depot?
I’m skeptical that the old library’s best use is a police station. More patrols? Yes. Police station? I’m open to being convinced.
I’ve added a poll to this story – please click through to respond. I’ll make sure that the County – the BoS, CCAC, etc. – see the responses. Thanks. Please note that the Police Station is the only thing I know of as having been proposed. The other options are just ideas I’ve heard.
— I’ll publish the results tomorrow before the Crozet Community Association meeting. I’m inclined to disregard the suggestions for “a shooting range” and “bodo’s” —
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20 Replies to “What Should Become of the Old Crozet Library?”
I don’t have a problem with it becoming a substation. If the county already owns the land/building, why purchase more for a substation?
If we want to preserve the building as much as possible, making it into a restaurant would be devastating structurally, as there would be massive renovations needed to bring it to code for food service.
Besides renovations, any commercial option would likely require much more parking than currently available and I just don’t see the point of putting more traffic into/out of that already cramped portion of Crozet.
Good points, I agree with you
Our historic train depot building is publicly owned, thanks to the Perry
Foundation, and my vote is for a use that will continue to allow
public!! access without requiring a retail purchase. Onsite parking is
extremely limited and cannot be expanded. J-MRL’s schedule only required
the parking two evenings a week. Patrons of adjacent businesses could
take advantage at other times. Those businesses with their own parking
issues do not have parking to share with a new depot “tenant” that
requires more parking spaces. Laws and regulations decree that one can
no longer just step across the tracks from The Square’s parking area, as
in the days of old.
Passenger train service, in the mode of those
same days-of-old, only exists in the history books. What to do with a
venerable relic that’s just one decade shy of a century? May those upcoming
decisions show the old depot, and our town, the respect that it
Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, Phil.
84 responses so far. I’ll publish the results before tomorrow’s CCA meeting.
Wow. 176 responses so far.
From an email commenter:
“The Old train Depot in Norcross, Georgia has become a very popular and successful restaurant. George H. Bush, while Vice President and during his run for the presidency, made a whissel-stop at this quite popular old downtown Norcross Train Station restaurant. A stage was constructed from the stations evelated walk-around that extended across this main downtown Norcross street packed with people awaiting his campaign train to arrive. My oldest son Rick, was in charge of that event which followed a night before fund raiser at then Falcon Football owner Rankin Smith’s home.
One idea for the station from an old eight year Crozet resident that really never quite got over leaving your wonderful town. Following my graduation from UVa we built our first home in Laurel Hills where two of our four children began school at the old Crozet Elementary School.”
Parking is an issue for a restaurant
The train depot is county-owned property and that limits the kinds of uses that will be allowed. One possibility would be to put the police substation in the bottom of the new library and put the visitor/tourist center in the depot, along with Crozet history displays. The police could interact with library visitors, particularly children, and build good community relationships. And the visitor/history center would be in a historic, highly visible and identifiably Crozet place. The parking should be adequate for that purpose. Local residents would enjoy coming to see the history displays and watch the trains pass the depot, too.
I think your point about putting a substation in the bottom of the library is an interesting one; I like the possibility for police interactions with children, and agree that it could foster positive community relationships.
I wonder, however, with finances being as tight as they are, who would staff a visitor center, and who would pay for it.
well lets do a combo of tourism center (move the one out of the basement of the new library – the county has said this is a priority) and musuem but please NO police station. It’s too pretty and cute and its perfect size and won’t get a ton of traffic and still provide auxiliary downtown parking at night. This also opens up more commercial space in the basement of the new library which would be great.
350k to renovate? That $230 a sq foot, about triple new home construction cost, assuming they are on budget which they won’t be. A police station in a town with almost no crime? Bad idea. The train station is a centerpiece of town. Sell it to the highest bidder with covenants for historical preservation and let it be whatever the free market will support.
I’ll go along with that. Crozet already has a Municipal Building, It does not need two since it is not even a town.The Police Department tends to over stress
it’s importance. There is no need for it in Crozet. Considering any historical preservation, it is a little late to be thinking about that. Once and if things follow
the current plan there will be very little of that part of Crozet left. Do people understand that once it is gone it can not be put back?
Where is the Municipal Building?
On all other points, I agree with you.
We now have a Library/Municipal building. It is not
a single use, purpose built structure and it was overbuilt at taxpayers expense. Call it what you want, It is what it is.
You got it NO police station and all you have to do is look at the article in th Daily Progress to see why not. Here’s Col. Steve Sellers, chief of the county police admitting Crozet isn’t the department’s first choice for a local substation, but it’s a golden opportunity.
“If I were to look at Albemarle County today, the first place to really to put a full-service separate police station would probably be in the north Albemarle-Hollymead area,” Sellers said. “But, Crozet is rapidly growing and there’s available property.”
Sorry Steve that along with $230 a sq ft to renovate makes me and according to Jim’s poll 75% of Crozetians want something besides a police substation at the old library depot. Go where there is a need.
Just say NO.
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Who lives closest to the most crimes? Crime maps are cool!
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Excerpt from the Albemarle County Police 2012 Annual Report:
“The goal is to have the first responding officer arrive on scene in 5 minutes or less at least 85% of the time for urban areas and in 10 minutes or less at least 85% of the time in rural areas. In 2012, for urban areas, the ACPD was meeting this goal 68.5% of the time. In rural areas, the APCD was meeting this goal 46.6% of the time. Increasing staffing numbers should improve response times and help the Department meet its goals.”
The full report can be found here:
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