South Burlington’s new City Hall/Library/Senior Center at 180 Market St., decades in the making, now has a name.
The one-stop shop for civic happenings will now be called – drumroll please – “South Burlington Public Library and City Hall.”
This was unanimously decided by the City Council on June 8.
“It’s a huge step in recognizing the vision of the community that it held for so many years,” Dorn said. “It’s coming to fruition. You can go there, you can see the concrete, you can see the steel and now the building’s actually been named.”
The moniker was chosen after reviewing a list of possible names that ranged from “City Hall Square” to takes on prominent South Burlington and Vermont figures like Jim Condos and Madeleine Kunin. The council heard suggestions, like Sandy Dooley’s request to name the building after Consuelo Northrop Bailey – the first woman elected Lt. Governor of Vermont and who once served as a South Burlington representative in the legislature.
But in the end, and with input from the Library Board of Trustees, the chosen name was one that focuses on function.
“To my mind, we wouldn’t have that building unless we had the support of the community to build a new library,” Council Chair Helen Riehle said, adding it was important to recognize the two main users.
Councilors had to pick the name now so that work could begin on a sign for the building’s facade. Engineers are now preparing that piece, which will hang above the entrance of the building on the Market Street side, Dorn said.
“I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get very creative with the name,” Councilor Tim Barritt said, but added, “It’s gonna be a monolith, so it should have a monolithic name.”
There will be other naming opportunities for spaces inside the building, Riehle said.
The building will have an auditorium, senior center, library and city hall.
The idea of creating a community hub is one that dates back nearly 40 years, with work like that of Jim Condos in 1985 on the “City Center Committee.” Voters gave the city the green light to build the community center in November 2018. The city estimates it will be completed sometime in the late fall of 2021, Dorn said.
“I can’t overemphasize the importance of having a real downtown,” Riehle said during a November 2019 groundbreaking event. “These public facilities will be in place for generations to come … together we made this possible.”