The Williamsburg City Council voted to begin the process of evaluating the unsolicited Public Private Educational Facilities Stryker Center Proposal that would construct a new community-oriented Stryker Building in downtown Williamsburg.
The initiative is a joint venture between the City of Williamsburg and the Williamsburg Regional Public Library to develop a Stryker Center pursuant to the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 and revised in 2007.
Members of the Williamsburg community will have until April 12 to submit original proposals or amend the current architectural design proposed by Henderson, Inc. and Guernsey Tingle Architects. During this 45-day review period, council members will entertain competing proposals, negotiate funding distribution with the Williamsburg Regional Library, and make final approvals to the project’s various conceptual goals.
If approved, the new 14,000 sq. ft. Stryker Building will have space designated for both the City Council and Regional Library Staff. Currently, the new building is envisioned to hold five library offices, a new City Council Chamber, a City Council Workroom, a video-production studio, four multi-purpose meeting rooms for the community, a foyer with local art exhibits, and some remaining meeting rooms available for rent.
The Williamsburg Regional Library will replace all meeting spaces except the large auditorium with areas to conduct youth services and programs if the Stryker Project comes to fruition.
Members of the Council voiced their enthusiasm to initiate the Project, believing it would ensure that downtown Williamsburg remained a center of community.
“Revamping the Stryker Building by adding a library component and making it a community asset will bring people downtown,” Vice Mayor Paul Freiling ’83 said.
Freiling and other Council Members agreed that the economic incentive to begin this project as soon as possible was great.
“The timing is optimal,” Freiling said. “As inflation starts picking up, we must start taking advantage of low construction costs.”
The council also passed the “Healthy Eating Active Living” proposal, making Williamsburg the first city in the commonwealth of Virginia to pass a resolution provided by the “Healthy Eating Active Living” Campaign of Virginia.
Furthermore, the council entertained its monthly operational and financial reports, passed the recent budget amendment to the Williamsburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and approved of a slope waiver on Burns Road.