Construction starts on Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Construction has started on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, expected to open in the spring of 2026.

Designed by Snohetta and developed by Rodgers Leeper, the building incorporates the area’s historical topography and will have an illuminated form that extends over the pedestrian sidewalk.

It will be built on the same site as the current main library: the 300 block of North Tryon Street, also known as the corner of 6th & N. Tryon Streets.  It is the same site where the original Carnegie Library – the first free library in Mecklenburg County – stood in 1903.The total funding allocation of the new Main Library project is $137.4 million.  Mecklenburg County is investing $72.3 million and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation is raising $65 million in private support.

The project team includes:

Snøhetta started in 1989 with the competition-winning entry for the new library of Alexandria, Egypt. This was later followed by the commission for the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center in New York City, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion in California.

Clark Nexsen is an architecture and engineering firm focused on creating spaces that positively impact people’s lives. With nearly a century of design practice, the firm is ranked by Building Design + Construction as a Top 10 firm for both university and government work. Clark Nexsen was honored as Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects’ North Carolina chapter in 2017.

Rodgers Leeper, an association between Rodgers Builders, Inc. (Charlotte, NC) and R.J. Leeper Construction, LLC (Charlotte, NC). Founded in 1963, its one of the largest woman-owned construction managers in the US, and nationally ranked among the Top 100 CM-at-Risk firms by Engineering News Record for the past 10 consecutive years. Founded in 1993, RJ Leeper Construction is the largest African American-owned construction manager in Charlotte.

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