Blog An early rendering by KBJ Architects of the restored library.

Published on September 9th, 2013 | by duPont Center

Lead Contractors Chosen for Development of Jessie Ball duPont Center

Danis and KBJ Architects Inc., have been selected as the lead contractors for development of the Jessie Ball duPont Center at the former Haydon Burns Library in downtown Jacksonville. Danis will serve as construction manager for the project and KBJ will serve as architect.

Sherry Magill, manager of JBdF LLC and president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, said both firms were selected through competitive bidding.

“We had excellent proposals from local companies, both for the construction manager role and for the architect,” she said. “We were delighted at the level of interest in this project.”

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, working through JBdF LLC, plans to retrofit the vacant library and convert it into an office building and gathering space for local nonprofit organizations. JBdF LLC purchased the library in June and anticipates that interior demolition will begin late in the fourth quarter of this year. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in the first half of 2015.

Danis is a privately owned company based in Dayton, Ohio with offices in Jacksonville. Among its recent clients are Mayo Clinic Jacksonville (Mayo House of Care), the University of North Florida (UNF Hall), the City of Jacksonville (Jake M. Godbold City Hall Annex) and Santa Fe College (Fine Arts Center).

KBJ Architects Inc., is one of the hallmark companies of Jacksonville, having designed many of the marquee structures in the city, including the Jacksonville International Airport terminal, 841 Prudential Drive, the Wells Fargo Center (former Independent Life building), the Jacksonville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Florida Theater, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, as well as Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra and the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Amelia Island.

The Haydon Burns Library is among the few remaining examples of mid-century modern architecture in Jacksonville. Its unique facade, with giant concrete fins surrounding the building, has made it an icon of downtown. Abandoned as the City’s library in 2005, the building was owned by private investors but had remained vacant until JBdF LLC purchased it in June.

In repurposing the building, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund will create a philanthropic and nonprofit center that will be home to a variety of organizations, including the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Collectively, tenant organizations will benefit from the synergy created when they co-locate as well as reduced operating costs due to lower rents and bulk purchasing opportunities.

The building also will be engineered to meet LEED certification requirements. It will include an accessible green roof, recycled water and other energy-saving features.

JBdF LLC, an affiliate of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, owns and will operate the Jessie Ball duPont Center.

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